Columns

Finishline: Space: The Final Food Frontier

March 27, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Food and space: my two biggest fascinations of life. I love eating and stargazing. So it is no wonder I follow the space program fairly diligently. However, when my thoughts turn to space I think not so much about astronaut missions but more about what they ate for breakfast.

Cuisine aboard Space Shuttle STS-88 (ISS-01-2A) launched last December included delicacies such as mushroom soup; salmon with broccoli au gratin; fresh fruit and vegetables; trail mix; kona coffee; and other earthly delights -- a far cry from Pillsbury's Space Food Sticks of the 1960s. Remember that brown, chewy, tube-shaped, extruded "food" in pseudo-chocolate, banana or strawberry flavor, individually packaged in slightly off-white multi-layered material?

Applesauce in aluminum tubes and sugar cookies pressed into cube shapes coated in crumb-preventing gelatin were the first foods consumed by astronauts 35 years ago. Dehydrated foods and "spoonbowls" were launched during Apollo missions and the first freezer, refrigerator and food warmer launched with Skylab.

Today, continually evolving space food systems require tremendous crossfunctionality of process, package, nutrient and palatability parameters. Manufacturing processes include natural form, intermediate moisture, rehydratable, irradiated and thermostabilized. "Currently, NASA is evaluating issues such as carry-on fresh foods," says Vickie Kloeris, NASA substation manager shuttle food. "Future issues include refrigeration, five-year extended shelf life foods and 'biogenerating' food systems where plants and crops will grow in controlled environmental chambers on long-duration missions."

For more extraterrestrial intelligence on space food, production, nutrition and interstellar agriculture, check the following website: www.spacelink.nasa.gov/ products/Space.Food.and.Nutrition

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

FE October 2014 Cover

2014 October

The October 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores companies that have successfully grappled with "the new business reality" and are coming to terms with it being here to stay. Also, read about the work going on behind the scenes to keep FSMA on track.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.