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Army to Begin Fielding Long-Awaited MRE Pizza This Month

  • A soldier enjoys a Meal, Ready-to-Eat pizza developed by scientists in the Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. (U.S. Army Photo)
    A soldier enjoys a Meal, Ready-to-Eat pizza developed by scientists in the Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. (U.S. Army Photo)
  • Army researchers have developed an MRE pizza that stays in a pouch for three years without turning soggy or spoiling. (U.S. Army Photo)
    Army researchers have developed an MRE pizza that stays in a pouch for three years without turning soggy or spoiling. (U.S. Army Photo)

The U.S. Army plans to field a shelf-stable pepperoni pizza entrée for Meals, Ready-to-Eat beginning this month.

Scientists in the Combat Feeding Directorate at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center have been working with the commercial food industry to overcome the challenges of creating a slice of pizza that can remain shelf-stable for three years at temperatures up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a recent Army press release.

Initial pizza prototypes developed were successful at the lab level. The CFD conducted three large-scale tests to make sure the pizza was producible at two different food processing plants, according to the release.

The tests were also carried out to ensure the plants were capable of producing pizza "that adhered to the detailed military specification," the release states.

"This product is a great example of using food science to meet the challenging and unique requirements for military rations," CFD director Stephen Moody said in the release.

No word yet on how it tastes. But in February, David Accetta, spokesman for Natick Soldier Research Development & Engineering Center in Maryland, told Stars and Stripes that living in harsh field conditions may enhance soldiers’ appreciation for the shelf-stable pizza treats.

"You have to be cold, starving, exhausted to really appreciate them," he said.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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