Earlier this year, a new retort food processing system was installed at the Defense Department's Combat Feeding Directorate in Natick, Mass. The vessel uses a new method that combines water and motion to develop military food that is safe to eat and that makes thermal processing much more efficient. It can process 195 eight-ounce ready-to-eat pouches, or 20 six-pound polymeric tray packs, at a time using water immersion, saturated steam, water spray or water spray with gentle motion. The Army said it can now design products that are more visually appealing and nutritious, and process them the same way vendors would.
Image credit: David Kamm, U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center