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U.S. Military Creates Pizza That Stays Fresh For 3 Years

The U.S. military takes cold pizza to new levels with a pizza prototype engineered to stay fresh for up to three years.
Posted at 5:38 PM, Feb 14, 2014

We've all likely indulged in some cold pizza for breakfast from time to time — but the U.S. military is taking it to a whole new level.

"Well, they call it the holy grail of ready-to-eat meals for soldiers in combat or in remote areas — it's a pizza that can stay on the shelf for three years and you can still eat it. Ugh." (Via WPLG)

"The latest prototype is like a typical pan pizza with a crust that's a little moist and not super crispy. Sounds good, right?" (Via WTOC)

As io9 reports, pizza had long been requested by soldiers for their MREs, or meals ready to eat. So the Pentagon decided to try make the long-lived pie happen. 

But apparently it wasn't an easy process. Military1 quotes one of the researchers saying: "When you combine all of these ingredients, they all have different characteristics. Sauce has more water than dough, so if you put a sauce on a dough and it has too much moisture, the moisture is going to migrate to the dough, making it very soggy."

As RT reports, to overcome some of those problems, the research team at Natick Army Labs in Massachusetts turned to water-binding ingredients, adjusted the acidity of the sauce to decrease bacterial growth, and added iron fillings to the MRE pouches to absorb excess air. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Neutrality)

And what they were left with was a superslice that can last up to three years in temperatures as high as 80 degrees. (Via KDFW)

Of course, the pizza experience wouldn't be complete without delivery — but it appears the Army's got that covered, too.

Quoted by WBUR, a public affairs officer with the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate says, "These may be airdropped by parachute in remote locations, or they may be dropped from a helicopter from an altitude of 50 feet without a parachute."

The military is hoping the pizza MREs will give soldiers a taste of home while simultaneously boosting morale. Field testing of the meals will begin in August.