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Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Mountain House Educates Consumers: When Long-Term Emergency Food Isn’t
Third party study finds wide range of oxygen levels in popular brands
Albany, Ore. – February 16, 2015 –
of camping, backpacking, and
preparedness meals, released results today of a recent study designed to inform consumers how
popular brands of emergency
meals manage oxygen levels, a critical element in long term emergency food.
This information is increasingly important as
consumers continue to move from tried-and-true #10 cans to
flexible pouches. The study, conducted
Fres-co System USA, Inc.
, tested the oxygen levels found in Mountain
House pouches as well as those of six other brands.
Low oxygen levels with little or no variation from pouch to pouch are key indicators of both good process
packaging integrity (other key indicators include: moisture, heat, and light). Oxygen degrades
shelf life in foods by
oxidizing fats and oils. This oxidation causes rancidity and unpalatable off-flavors.
The presence of oxygen also
depletes food of valuable vitamins A, C, D and E.
“Prolonged exposure to oxygen will cause most foods to become rancid within six months to two years,
depending on ambient
levels,” said Drew Huebsch, R&D manager for Mountain House. “For truly long term
storage of food – measured in decades
– our research indicates that oxygen levels should be below 3 percent.
United States Military specifications go even further,
requiring oxygen levels to be below 2 percent.”
Four of the tested brands sell pouches of long term food with a claimed shelf life of fifteen to twenty-five years:
Geographic, Legacy Premium, Food Supply Depot, and Wise Company food storage. Three additional
brands sell camping
and backpacking meals often used in emergency “bug out” situations, with a claimed shelf
life of five to twelve years:
Backpacker’s Pantry, AlpineAire, and Mountain House.
The study measured the oxygen levels inside 30 pouches from each brand. Only Mountain House pouches
oxygen level of less than 3 percent in all cases, with an average oxygen level of 1.42 percent.
This bests the U.S. military
specification of less than 2 percent oxygen. All other brands had average oxygen
levels above 3 percent. Food Supply Depot
fared the least favorable with near atmospheric average levels of
oxygen at 17.76 percent.
The study also tested for variation of oxygen levels from pouch to pouch, a measure of reliability and process
Mountain House again came out on top with a standard deviation of 0.3. The closest competitor,
standard deviation of 2.4, or more than 8.1 times that of Mountain House.
At the bottom of the list was Wise Company’s
survival food at 8.4, representing a variability of 28.2 times
than Mountain House.
“We’ve been making Mountain House for nearly 50 years,” says Reiner Bohlen,
Manager at Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc.,
the parent company of Mountain House. “You don’t become
the gold standard
in outdoor meals and emergency food storage
unless you make products consumers know
they can trust to taste
great, no matter what. We commissioned this study to see
where we stand in the market
and help determine where
we could possibly make improvements. We want to make sure we
continue to deliver
on our promises.”
Brands were chosen based on brand awareness in either the outdoor adventure or emergency preparedness
All foods tested consisted of dehydrated and/or freeze dried foods that are prepared by just adding
Link to study data
About Mountain House
Based in Albany, Ore., Mountain House has been the first choice of backpackers, hikers,
campers and emergency
experts for nearly 50 years. Why? Great taste, ease of use and reliability,
no matter how extreme the
environment. As a result,
Mountain House commands more than 70 percent of the
outdoor freeze dried meal
market according to the Outdoor Industry
Association. Their line of meals in pouches
have a proven shelf life of
12+ years. Foods in their #10 cans have a proven shelf
life of 25+ years.
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