Determining Permissible Oxygen and Water Vapor Transmission Rate for Non-Retort Military Ration Packaging
Final rept. Mar 2009-Jan 2010
ARMY NATICK SOLDIER RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA
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This report documents a study that was conducted by the Department of Defense DoD Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center NSRDEC to determine baseline barrier requirements, such as oxygen transmission rate OTR and water vapor transmission rate WVTR, for the non-retort pouch found in the Meal, Ready to EatTM MRETM individual ration. During this study, cracker samples were packed in pouches with known permeation to oxygen and water vapor. Cracker pouches were then stored under controlled environmental conditions. Crackers were pulled from storage at predetermined intervals and tested for various attributes, such as sensory quality, moisture content, water activity, texture, and headspace. From the sensory analysis it was found that the required WVTR for the non-retort pouch to meet a 3-year shelf life is at least 0.13 gm2d, using the current units for WVTR that are found in military specification PCR-C-037. However, when taking into account pouch size, which is a more accurate and realistic way to determine and specify required WVTR, the allowable water vapor ingress is 0.004 gpouchd. Cracker samples used to determine permissible OTR did not fall below the overall quality requirement for sensory attributes during the 32-week study. Thus, an allowable OTR for the non-retort pouch cannot be calculated from the results obtained.
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition
- Inorganic Chemistry