Steven Senne / AP
A packet containing a slice of prototype pizza is displayed by public affairs officer David Accetta at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, in Natick, Mass.
Forget frozen pizza; science has finally created a slice that can last three years on the shelf before going bad.
No, it’s not DiGiorno. It’s a ready-to-eat meal — known as a MRE — created for the military. In combat zones where field kitchens are not an option, soldiers rely on these meals, which don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen.
Like most Americans with taste buds, soldiers love pizza. In fact, it was the number one requested MRE. (The current soldier favorite is spaghetti). But up until now military food scientists could not figure out how to make sauce and cheese that wouldn’t release its moisture into the crust, making for soggy pizza, reported the Associated Press.
The culinary geniuses at a U.S. military lab in Massachusetts fiddled with acidity of the ingredients, added ingredients in the sauce and cheese that retain moisture, and redesigned the packaging. The result: a prototype slice of pepperoni pizza that can be enjoyed right out of the bag.
It might not be the same as a pie fresh from a pizzeria's oven, or even hot, but in the field, a piece of room-temperature pizza will probably be a welcome sight for most U.S. soldiers.
First published February 14 2014, 11:26 AM
Keith Wagstaff is a contributing writer at NBC News. He covers technology, reporting on Internet security, mobile technology and more. He joined NBC News from The Week, where he was a staff writer covering politics. Prior to his work at The Week, he was a technology writer at TIME.
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He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.