Nutrient-dense foods can be provided throughout the world and stored for years without decrease in food quality.
In underdeveloped African countries and disaster-stricken areas, hospitals and communities are in need of low-cost, nutrient-dense foods which can be readily supplied and stored for extended periods of time. Corn meal is a staple food in sub-Saharan African diets, but corn meal can only be stored for up to 5 months and is deficient in essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, and niacin. Meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) are designed to be nutrient dense, have a shelf-life of at least 3 years, and are also capable of being stored at tropical temperatures for extended periods of time. MREs and similar nutrient-rich food products are needed not only in the military, but for humanitarian purposes as well.
Preserved food products with high nutritional content and can last for extended periods of time in elevated temperatures are viable for humanitarian applications, for people active in outdoor camping, and military personnel who consume MREs in the battlefield.
- According to the United Nations’ World Food Programme initiative, 842 million people are malnourished in today’s world (wfp.org)
- Approximately 239 million people, or 21.4% of the population in Sub-Saharan African developing countries were hungry or malnourished in 2010 (fao.org)
- The average MRE provides 1250 calories with a nutritional composition of 13% protein, 36% fat, 51% carbohydrates (U.S. Army)
Research conducted by Dr. Ockerman and his research team at The Ohio State University in non-Western regions in Africa, India, aboriginal Australia, and China has led to the development of a palatable food product which has a long shelf-life and provides a significant portion of the daily recommended diet, especially for famished populations.
- Product has been tested after 9 years of preservation with no change in nutritional content or taste
- Recipe can be altered for desired nutritional content and regional flavors
- Production plant mechanisms and HACCP plan developed
- Food product is derived from a variety of relatively inexpensive raw ingredients
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