Why MRE foods are not spoiling?



MRE foods are not dried foods, they contain water inside them. They have shelf life for years. How are they safe to eat. They are sealed packages so soldiers are not adding water and then heating them.

In: Chemistry

I can’t speak to specifically MREs, but canned goods also contain water and don’t spoil readily. What happens in canned goods is they are sealed and then heated enough that all bacteria and fungi inside die. The result is that literally nothing with DNA exists in the can, and so it cannot spoil the food.

The pouch is boiled after being sealed to sterilize the contents. If there’s no living bacteria inside (and nothing new can get in), it’s very difficult for the foods to spoil early.

Very similar process to how canned foods are prepared, and they stay edible for 5 years or so as long as they don’t contain high-acid foods.

The breads and dessert items are a different story. They not only have to prevent them from spoiling, but prevent the texture, taste, etc. from changing over time. Even if it’s technically safe to eat, no one wants to eat a stale bun or cake loaf. I’m not exactly sure what they substitute in as ingredients, but it gives the bread items a very artificial and processed taste. Same with the infamous peanut butter.