Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking news on various third-party scientific tests on popular freeze-dried food brands. You'd think there wouldn't be whole lot of difference, right?
Well--what it actually boils down to is some surprising insight into critical food packaging, big differences in brand-name quality, and deceptive marketing practices by at least one well-known company that recently jumped into the business.
Here is a link to our previous most recent article: http://safecastle.blogspot.com/2012/08/osu-lab-test-pits-mountain-house-vs.html
That article summarizes and provides links to two previous studies that compare Mountain House food varieties with Wise Food flavors. An eye-opening read, for sure.
Now, on August 23 an executive from Mountain House posted a detailed response in a discussion thread about these studies ... and that new post reveals still more info about a more comprehensive third study. Here is that response in full:
Apologies in advance for the long post, but over the last month we’ve seen many requests for more data as well as questions about the studies we’ve published. At Mountain House, we’re strong advocates of transparency and we’d like to take a couple of minutes to provide you with some more information.
The most frequent data request we have seen has been for the oxygen content of more samples of Wise products. While Wise has chosen not to respond to those requests, Mountain House has commissioned another third party study of their remaining long-term food storage line, adding their fruit, vegetable, meat, sauce, and cereal products to the dry-blended entrees from the earlier study. Here is a summary of the combined results (we’d be happy to provide the underlying data upon request):
* 90 separate sample pouches.
* Dated from 6/11/11 through 4/24/12.
* A minimum of 34 distinct batches.
* Purchased at retail from 4 different online vendors.
* Sent to a third party laboratory in original packaging.
* Oxygen levels averaged 17.1% across the entire Wise long-term food storage product line.
We strongly suggest that customers of long-term emergency food storage confirm not only the flavor and nutrition of products they’re planning on purchasing, but also the oxygen content, before spending a large sum of money. Mountain House has over 40 years of experience meeting and exceeding stringent military specs (e.g., < 2% oxygen), and you can be confident that our products will be there for you when you need them most. Emergencies can be stressful and you want to be sure that you will enjoy the food you have stored, whatever brand(s) you choose.
Another frequent question focuses on the funding of the oxygen content and sensory evaluation studies we’ve released. We are very open about this: Mountain House hired unaffiliated organizations that specialize in testing to conduct research. The reason we did this was to assure customers that the resulting data was solid and free from bias.
We actually have a state-of-the-art food laboratory and could have easily performed the studies ourselves, just as we routinely test our own products as part of our rigorous quality assurance process. But we know that when a company claims that “we have tests that prove what we say”, customers are rightly skeptical, even if the company publishes that data.
Instead, we hired third party organizations to conduct the studies: Columbia Food Laboratories for the oxygen headspace analysis and Oregon State University’s Sensory Science Laboratory for the sensory evaluation. Neither is affiliated with Mountain House or the emergency food storage industry, and both value their reputations as respected scientific organizations.
If other companies wish to fund similar unbiased third party studies of Mountain House products purchased from multiple online vendors, we encourage them to do so. It is a large market, customer tastes and budgets vary, and there is plenty of room for honest competition among reputable manufacturers.
As a leader in the long-term food storage industry for over 40 years, Mountain House wants customers to be able to make informed decisions regarding purchases that will sustain their families and give them comfort in times of emergency. Towards that end, we will continue to test both our own and competitive products in the market and report our findings to interested consumers.
Please feel free to contact us at MH-Info (at) ofd.com, or post your questions/comments on this forum. We’ll do our best to respond promptly.
Thanks for your interest in this very important subject.
- Mountain House.