US military spending may be by far the highest on the globe, but we also have advanced capabilities that no other country possesses – like ready-to-eat pizza slices that can remain edible for three years.
Of course, these individually-packaged single slices aren’t going to be good as the ones from your favorite New York-style by-the-slice joint, but the “fully assembled and baked” pieces of pie don’t require any additional cooking and, according to Lauren Oleksyk – a food technologist at the US Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center – they are as good as “day after pizza” or the kind you grew up with during your school cafeteria days. The prepackaged pies supposedly “received high marks” from soldiers during testing.
More importantly, Oleksyk says even average pizza is sure to boost soldiers’ morale in a combat zone. “We've actually had feedback from the warfighter for years,” she said according to Tech Insider. “Pizza just seems appealing to all.”
So how do you create a slice that can last for three years? Apparently, the development took about five years and requires a specific construction method known as “Hurdle technology” meant to control bacteria growth. Amazingly, the pizza still uses almost entirely normal ingredients. “The only difference is in the sauce," said Oleksyk. “We control the pH so it's a little more acidic.”
As a final step, the pizza had to survive six months at a temperature of 100 degrees, a process which simulates three years at 80 degrees, to prove it could come out the other side palatable. Apparently, the slice passed with flying colors. Though had it not, they probably could have just added it to the menu at Guantanamo.