From Mountain House Blog :
Third party study finds wide range of oxygen levels in popular brands
Albany, Ore. – February 16, 2015 – Mountain House, the best-selling brand of camping, backpacking, and emergency preparedness meals, released results today of a recent study designed to inform consumers how popular brands of emergency meals manage oxygen levels, a critical element in long term emergency food. This information is increasingly important as consumers continue to move from tried-and-true #10 cans to flexible pouches. The study, conducted by Fres-co System USA, Inc., tested the oxygen levels found in Mountain House pouches as well as those of six other brands.
Low oxygen levels with little or no variation from pouch to pouch are key indicators of both good process control and packaging integrity (other key indicators include: moisture, heat, and light). Oxygen degrades shelf life in foods by oxidizing fats and oils. This oxidation causes rancidity and unpalatable off-flavors. The presence of oxygen also depletes food of valuable vitamins A, C, D and E.
“Prolonged exposure to oxygen will cause most foods to become rancid within six months to two years, depending on ambient levels,” said Drew Huebsch, R&D manager for Mountain House. “For truly long term storage of food – measured in decades – our research indicates that oxygen levels should be below 3 percent. United States Military specifications go even further, requiring oxygen levels to be below 2 percent.”
Four of the tested brands sell pouches of long term food with a claimed shelf life of fifteen to twenty-five years: National Geographic, Legacy Premium, Food Supply Depot, and Wise Company food storage. Three additional brands sell camping and backpacking meals often used in emergency “bug out” situations, with a claimed shelf life of five to twelve years: Backpacker’s Pantry, AlpineAire, and Mountain House.
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