PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- As a packaging industry professional that played a key role in the development of MRE products for military member consumption, Steve Herlehy
understands the challenge behind providing nutritious meals to soldiers overseas. However, having contributed to MRE innovations, such as the hot water beverage bag, Herlehy has found that there has been much progress over the years in improving the sustenance options that soldiers can access during service.
For example, Steve Herlehy highlights the recent developments in MRE options made by the Combat Feeding Directorate at Natick Soldier Research in Massachusetts. Herlehy points to a recent article
from Fort Hood Sentinel that discusses this progress. The article reveals, "Barbecue shredded beef, vegetarian taco pasta, and seasoned black beans will replace chicken fajitas, vegetable lasagna, refried beans and potato cheddar soup in the 2014 production of Meals, Ready-to-Eat."
Steve Herlehy comments, "While this change and improvement is typical of the Combat Feeding Directorate each year, these new options and replacements stress the progress and innovation that goes into MRE production. Taking a look at the more diverse palate of 2014, it is very clear that MREs have changed and improved a great deal over the years to better satisfy the men and women serving our country."
Fort Hood Sentinel highlights the efforts that go into the MRE production and states, "Each year, the Combat Feeding Directorate goes into the field to test new food items with the warfighters, and get input on existing food items," said Jeanette Kennedy, a senior food technologist at Natick Labs, Mass. "Soldiers also make recommendations for items they would like to see in MREs."
While there are some limitations when it comes to requests for food--such as creating a pizza MRE--Steve Herlehy explains that the processes that goes into MRE production remain impressive. For instance, the article reveals, "MREs are produced through the 'retort process,' which is a thermal processing method which is meant to sterilize food. The food items are sealed into a pouch and heated under pressure to temperatures above 240 degrees. This inactivates the microbes that would cause food spoilage."
Herlehy also notes that the prospect of the MRE of the near future also bodes well for Natick and the soldiers they serve. Jeanette Kennedy tells the Fort Hood Sentinel, "Natick Soldier Research is currently researching non-thermal, low-thermal and advanced-thermal processes that are less detrimental to the food as compared to the retort process. Entrees prepared using these methods will taste as though freshly prepared."
"It truly is exciting how the packaging and preparation processes are rapidly advancing. I look forward to how MREs will progress in the upcoming years," Steve Herlehy.
is an account executive that works in the plastic packaging industry. His company offers revolutionary packaging solutions that are used by food, pharmaceutical, shrink label, and industrial businesses. One of his greatest contributions includes assisting with the development of high quality packaging for NASA's dehydrated foods. Not only that, he also was instrumental in the development of "Meals Ready to Eat" packaging for military personnel. Steve is an avid philanthropist who provides financial support to Lifetime Assistance, an organization that aids senior citizens. He is also an active member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals.