New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Discussions about US MREs and other US rations
sag45
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New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by sag45 » Fri May 14, 2010 9:32 pm

Hello everyone! Hope all is well. I have been busy just surviving and not having time to do what I really like to do.
Been eating a few MRE's this week. I have a few 2005,2006 and 2007 that I think I need to focus on since I saw
the new LIFE CHART. Seems the time has been cut. Mostly for me since I average about 75 degrees thru the summer month.
Well the good side of it is that its a good excuse to buy newer MRES.
So far the 2005 items are good, a few leaking tobasco bottles but thats about it.
I'll try to get the camera up and running and put up some reviews in the days to come. Be looking for them.
Thanks to this site, I still keep the MRES in mind and the ever lasting posts.
As for the shake recall - I might miss out on some of them. They taste pretty good.
Have A Good One!
art
POTTED MEAT! A FAVORITE! Eat too much and you get THE GOUT!

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kman
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by kman » Fri May 14, 2010 9:51 pm

sag45 - well, you beat me to punch in announcing the new shelf life chart. But since the cat's out of the bag, let me explain...

Here is the old chart and the new chart:

From: MRE Shelf Life (http://www.mreinfo.com/us/mre/mre-shelf-life.html)

Image
Image

The main reason for the change is this: I received an email from the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (the guys who develop the MREs) asking me to please not use that old shelf-life chart because it's nowhere close to accurate. Apparently, that chart was developed back when the MREs first came out and when they included a lot of freeze-dried parts. Nowadays, MREs rarely contain any freeze-dried parts so the max shelf lives needed to be adjusted.

Even though Natick advised me not to use the old chart, they didn't have any recommendations for a new chart to use. So I poked around and found the above chart at Ameriqual on their ReadyMeal/APack site. This matched up pretty closely with a similar chart from Sopakco so I decided to settle on this one. The new chart only goes up to 60 months of shelf life (5 years) at 50F vs. the old 130 months (almost 11 years) at 60F.

Sure, we've all probably eaten 11 year old MREs and they were still mostly good but if you're looking for a practical shelf life chart, I think this new one should serve the purpose.

Personally, I keep MREs around for emergency purposes for 7 years at whatever temperature I can manage. After that, the MREs might still be good and I'll still eat them - but I won't rely on them in an emergency.

Jpak
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by Jpak » Sat May 15, 2010 3:06 am

Wow! That is a dramatic change and a significant decrease in the shelf-life of MREs. :shock: Who keeps their stockpile of MREs at 50 degrees or lower? I know I sure don't. I guess I'll have to start cycling/rotating through them more often than expected. :?

Might have to start storing some of those #10 cans of Mountain House Freeze Dried foods in the emergency reserves in addition to the MREs. Epicenter says the Freeze Dried stuff has a shelf-life up to 30 years.

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housil
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by housil » Sat May 15, 2010 5:34 am

I store all my cases down in our homes basemant and at my souterrain (from French "under the surface") garage with an average temp of ~ 50-65F.

I´m current eating 2003 MREs, some had a darkend TTI already when I got them.
So my conclusion for me (!) is, not to worry... :wink:

Except for some cheese and coffee, I never had a realy spoiled MRE dish, doesn´t matter how old (back to 2001) and how darkend the TTI was.

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Treesuit
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by Treesuit » Sat May 15, 2010 8:03 pm

Kman,

Thanks for the update on this it's big help for alot of us. My question for you an everyone here is that if the temp goes down past 40F does the shelf life keep going down or just level out? I took a look at that and with some mathematical reasoning I think the shelf life would just level out at the 41 degree F mark for storage months. But after 40F you might run the risk of food freezing, mind you that warning they put on the side of every carton. Any thoughts?

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kman
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by kman » Sat May 15, 2010 8:13 pm

Treesuit, it's tough to say how far out you could extend the chart. There does seem to be a curve to the data so you could extrapolate (guess, really) how many more months you could get if you keep lowering the temperature.

As for going below 40F and freezing the MREs, I know there's that warning on cases - but it really says "Do not rough handle when frozen" (or something like that). I don't think there's a problem with actually freezing MREs - the problem comes when you freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw them because then you risk stressing the packaging and causes leaks.

Someone recently emailed me a question about freezing MREs and I meant to throw a few in my deep freezer for some experimentation. I figured I'd freeze a few MREs and then try them at 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc. to see how they handled the zero F temperatures. I still need to pop those in the freezer but I'll try to start the experiment this weekend.

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Treesuit
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by Treesuit » Sat May 15, 2010 8:30 pm

Kman,

Yes, indeed that would be a great expeiment to work on and publish your findings here. With that idea in mind the only thing that comes to mind for me is the degredation of food taste after freezing, thawing, freezing, thawing, etc. We all know that when food is stored improperly in the freezer it can get 'Freezer burn" so I'm thinking even in a layered laminated foil pouch you still run the risk of that happened or the taste of the food going down too.

alcockell
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by alcockell » Sun May 16, 2010 6:18 am

OK - I know you use Fahrenheit that side of the pond... but what about equivalent temps in Celsius for the rest of us?

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housil
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by housil » Sun May 16, 2010 7:11 am

alcockell wrote:...but what about equivalent temps in Celsius for the rest of us?

I´m "the rest" too and I´m using this: http://www.thomas-jahnke.de/technik/umr ... chTemp.htm :mrgreen:

biscuits brown
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Re: New MRE SHELF LIFE CHART

Post by biscuits brown » Sun May 16, 2010 1:42 pm

Speak for yourself Alcockell :) I do 70 degrees (a nice warm day) 6 pints (a nice evening) and 1000 miles (quite a walk)
Its unfortunate that everyone under 40 has been brainwashed in the UK to talk in kilow meters (a silly fraction of a mile, just designed for 2CV owners to think they are going fast) and this C thing.

I understand metternick perfectly well, I just dont do it on principal.

Its always good to read a US wrapper. At least I can understand it without having to do a quick mental conversion, to suss out the real weight. :lol:
Keep Imperial measurements US!

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