Meals-ready-to-eat, otherwise known as MREs, aren’t know to be the most appetizing of foods for deployed military members.
But now the Army has come up with a pizza that not only has a three year shelf life, but according to taste testers, it actually is pretty good.
"It's a fully assembled and baked piece of pizza in one package," Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist at the US Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, told Tech Insider.
So what does it taste like? Think cafeteria pizza, or as Oleksyk describes it, like "day after pizza." And while it's square shape and bready crust can't rival a New York slice, Olesky said soldiers give it the thumbs up.
"We've actually had feedback from the warfighter for years," Oleksysk said. "Pizza just seems appealing to all."
Having a little comfort food is a powerful force on the battlefield, but making a pizza that can sit on a shelf for three years at 80 degrees was particularly challenging for Army researchers.
One hurdle to overcome was figuring out how to prevent mold from growing. For the dough, they used something called Hurdle technology that creates layers of protection from preventing bacteria forming. The tomato sauce has a higher pH and is more acidic to keep the critters away.
And all MREs come with heaters that activate when mixed with water, so the pizza can be warmed up...or be eaten cold, just like during those college years, reports Tech Insider.
Soldiers will be able to chow down on MRE #37 sometime next year.