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Applicability to Daily Use


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Vickie, Welcome to eGullet!

Tang is certainly an example of one food product that came from the space program. Are there other potential products in the pipeline with applicability and desirability for everyday use here on earth?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Actually, Tang did not come from the space program. Tang was already around in the commercial market when NASA was looking for powdered beverages to fly into space. Tang fit the requirements and the rest is history. We still actually use several flavors of Tang in our flight food system. The manufacturer's of Tang are good enough to supply us with flavors of Tang that are not marketed in the U.S., but are marketed around the world. As far as foods developed by NASA food systems that reached the commercial market, the only example is the space food sticks that were marketed by Pillsbury in the early days of the space program. This was a fruit leather product that was used by the astronauts during Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) events. From the beginning of the U.S. space program an emphasis has been placed on using as much commercially available food as possible in our flight food systems. This was/is done in order to control costs. For example, we have many foods that we call natural-form foods (snacks, etc) that are commercial items that we re-package in order to extend the shelf life. These are like cookies, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, etc. Also, many of our freeze-dried foods actually start out as commercial frozen foods that we cook and freeze-dry in our lab. Therefore, they are further processed food items, but are not made from scratch. Since 1998, we have developed several thermostabilized food items that are not available on the commercial market. These items are processed very much like canned foods, but instead of being in cans, they are in a flexible pouch. These items have a shelf life of, on the average, three years. However, the commercial food industry does not have a need for this long a shelf life, so the potential for commercial application is limited.

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Fascinating and surprising (at least to me). thank you for your response. Other than Tang, what are some of the other commercial products that you use?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Yes, the mango flavor is delish--especially good for disguising iodine flavor in water when camping. You can get it at many Asian and Mexican groceries. Also just purchased in Mexico but haven't tried yet: tamarind.

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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