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Fiscal Year: FY 2012  Task Last Updated:  10/20/2011 
PI Name: Catauro, Patricia  M.S. 
Project Title: Comparative Packaging Study  
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
HUMAN RESEARCH--Space Human Factors Engineering 
 
Joint Agency Name:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability
Human Research Program Risks:: (1) Food:Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to an Inadequate Food System
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) AFT04:We need to identify the methods, technologies, and requirements that will deliver a food system that provides adequate safety, nutrition, and acceptability for proposed long-duration Design Reference Mission operations. (Per IRP Rev E. Previous title: What technologies can be developed that will efficiently balance appropriate vehicle resources such as mass, volume, and crew time during exploration missions with the safety, nutrition, and acceptability requirements?)
PI Organization Type: NASA CENTER  Phone: 281.483.3632  
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center/Lockheed Martin 
PI Address 1: 1300 Hercules MC:C09 
PI Address 2:  
PI Web Page:  
City: Houston  State: TX 
Zip Code: 77058  Congressional District:  22 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  Directed Research 
Start Date: 10/01/2008  End Date:  10/01/2011 
No. of Post Docs:   No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates:   No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates:   No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:   Monitoring Center:  NASA JSC 
Contact Monitor: Perchonok, Michele   Contact Phone:  (281) 483-7632 
Contact Email: michele.h.perchonok@nasa.gov 
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment: NOTE: End date changed to 10/1/2011 for reporting purposes (Ed., 9/26/2011)

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI: NOTE: PI changed from Michele Perchonok to Patricia Catauro effective FY2009 (10/01/2008); was briefly Thomas Oziomek but changed to Catauro during the same fiscal year, i.e., FY2009 [information per M. Perchonok/JSC]. See Perchonok for FY2008 reporting. 
COI Name (Institution):  
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Advanced Food Technology (AFT) is currently working to design a stable, palatable, and nutritious food supply, to support long-duration missions beyond Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). Identifying high-barrier food packaging is integral to this work, as food quality is greatly reduced upon interaction with environmental moisture and oxygen. This research project evaluated the long-term performance of three packaging materials: a low barrier material, a clear high barrier material, and an opaque high barrier material. One ingredient and two food products, all extremely vulnerable to oxygen- and moisture-induced spoilage, were packaged in the three materials. The quality of these food items with long-term storage at relevant temperature and humidity parameters was examined regularly by instrumental analysis and sensory evaluation. Quality of these food items over time has indicated the relative longevity of each packaging material. Data obtained have suggested the continued need of a metalized overwrap material to ensure the quality and shelf life of foods packaged in clear materials for ISS and long duration spaceflight applications. Critical limits of quality for evaluated food products and recommendations for packaging of NASA food items in long duration missions were identified based on the findings of this study.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The study compares three commercially available packaging materials. The results may be helpful to food industry. No innovative technologies are being developed.

 

Task Progress: Advanced Food Technology (AFT) is currently working to design a stable, palatable, and nutritious food supply to support long-duration missions beyond Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). Identifying high barrier food packaging is integral to this work, because food quality is greatly reduced upon exposure to environmental moisture and oxygen. The Comparative Packaging Study research project evaluated the long-term performance of three packaging materials: a low barrier transparent material, a high-barrier transparent material, and a high barrier opaque material. One ingredient and two food products, all extremely vulnerable to oxygen and moisture induced spoilage, were packaged in the three test materials. The quality of these food items with long term storage at relevant temperature (21-23oC) and humidity (25%RH – 75%RH) parameters was examined regularly for 36 months. During this time, the foods were evaluated for any increases in moisture content, increases in staling aroma compounds, and changes in other food quality indicators. Sensory testing (or taste testing) was also used to assess the quality of the foods over storage time, by having volunteers compare the aging items to control samples. The assessment of the packaged food items over time has indicated the relative longevity of each of the three packaging materials. The opaque material preserved the food quality the longest of the three materials (>36 months), and its success appeared to be unaffected by the different storage conditions studied. After considering all results, AFT researchers were able to establish minimum limits for food quality indicators, which will likely simplify food storage studies for NASA missions in the future. AFT researchers also used the results of this study to make recommendations on the use of the three materials to support current and future NASA missions. Among these recommendations, AFT researchers encouraged the use of the high barrier opaque material to ensure the quality of food for storage on ISS.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 01/30/2012) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
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Fiscal Year: FY 2011  Task Last Updated:  09/20/2010 
PI Name: Catauro, Patricia  M.S. 
Project Title: Comparative Packaging Study  
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
HUMAN RESEARCH--Space Human Factors Engineering 
 
Joint Agency Name:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability
Human Research Program Risks:: (1) Food:Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to an Inadequate Food System
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) AFT04:We need to identify the methods, technologies, and requirements that will deliver a food system that provides adequate safety, nutrition, and acceptability for proposed long-duration Design Reference Mission operations. (Per IRP Rev E. Previous title: What technologies can be developed that will efficiently balance appropriate vehicle resources such as mass, volume, and crew time during exploration missions with the safety, nutrition, and acceptability requirements?)
PI Organization Type: NASA CENTER  Phone: 281.483.3632  
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center/Lockheed Martin 
PI Address 1: 1300 Hercules MC:C09 
PI Address 2:  
PI Web Page:  
City: Houston  State: TX 
Zip Code: 77058  Congressional District:  22 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  Directed Research 
Start Date: 10/01/2008  End Date:  10/01/2011 
No. of Post Docs:   No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates:   No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates:   No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:   Monitoring Center:  NASA JSC 
Contact Monitor: Woolford, Barbara   Contact Phone:  218-483-3701 
Contact Email: barbara.j.woolford@nasa.gov 
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment: NOTE: End date changed to 10/1/2011 for reporting purposes (Ed., 9/26/2011)

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI: NOTE: PI changed from Michele Perchonok to Patricia Catauro effective FY2009 (10/01/2008); was briefly Thomas Oziomek but changed to Catauro during the same fiscal year, i.e., FY2009 [information per M. Perchonok/JSC]. See Perchonok for FY2008 reporting. 
COI Name (Institution):  
Grant/Contract No.:  
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Advanced Food Technology (AFT) is currently working to design a stable, palatable, and nutritious food supply, to support long-duration missions beyond Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). Identifying high-barrier food packaging is integral to this work, as food quality is greatly reduced upon interaction with environmental moisture and oxygen. This research project has been designed to evaluate the long-term performance of three packaging materials: a low barrier material, a clear high barrier material, and an opaque high barrier material. One ingredient and two food products, all extremely vulnerable to oxygen- and moisture-induced spoilage, will be packaged in the three materials. The quality of these food items with long-term storage at relevant temperature and humidity parameters, will be examined regularly by instrumental analysis and sensory evaluation. Quality of these food items over time will indicate the relative longevity of each packaging material. Recommendations for packaging of food items in long-duration missions will be given based on the findings of this study.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The study compares three commercially available packaging materials. The results could be helpful to food industry. No innovative technologies are being developed.

 

Task Progress: In general, the major observations during the period were in accordance with those reported previously. Storage at increasing humidity levels appears to affect the quality of foods packaged in clear materials (Combitherm® and Tolas®). The Combitherm® material continues to show the greatest sensitivity to high humidity storage, while the opaque Technipaq® material continues to provide the most stable and protective barrier to all food samples considered. To date, the Tolas® material has shown some sensitivity to high humidity storage for moisture-sensitive products, but appears to maintain product quality for storage of high-lipid products.

Modifications were incorporated into the task research methods in early FY10. These included the introduction of peroxide value determination as an analytical indicator of peanut sample quality, and the addition of water activity (Aw) measurements as an indicator of dry cereal quality. To date, these methods have benefit the study; peroxide value determination has allowed increased correlation of analytical and sensory data for peanuts samples, and water activity measurement has allowed additional insight into packaged dry cereal stability. These measurements will therefore continue to completion of the study.

A qualitative comparison of the flexibility of the clear packaging materials (Combitherm® and Tolas®) was conducted during the period. Although the Tolas® material displayed less flexibility and greater incidence of creasing, its seal and packaging integrity was found to be comparable to that of the Combitherm® material.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 01/30/2012) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
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Fiscal Year: FY 2010  Task Last Updated:  09/03/2009 
PI Name: Catauro, Patricia  M.S. 
Project Title: Comparative Packaging Study  
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
HUMAN RESEARCH--Space Human Factors Engineering 
 
Joint Agency Name:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability
Human Research Program Risks:: (1) Food:Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to an Inadequate Food System
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) AFT04:We need to identify the methods, technologies, and requirements that will deliver a food system that provides adequate safety, nutrition, and acceptability for proposed long-duration Design Reference Mission operations. (Per IRP Rev E. Previous title: What technologies can be developed that will efficiently balance appropriate vehicle resources such as mass, volume, and crew time during exploration missions with the safety, nutrition, and acceptability requirements?)
PI Organization Type: NASA CENTER  Phone: 281.483.3632  
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center/Lockheed Martin 
PI Address 1: 1300 Hercules MC:C09 
PI Address 2:  
PI Web Page:  
City: Houston  State: TX 
Zip Code: 77058  Congressional District:  22 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  Directed Research 
Start Date: 10/01/2008  End Date:  09/30/2011 
No. of Post Docs:   No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates:   No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates:   No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:   Monitoring Center:  NASA JSC 
Contact Monitor: Woolford, Barbara   Contact Phone:  218-483-3701 
Contact Email: barbara.j.woolford@nasa.gov 
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI: NOTE: PI changed from Michele Perchonok to Patricia Catauro effective FY2009 (10/01/2008); was briefly Thomas Oziomek but changed to Catauro during the same fiscal year, i.e., FY2009 [information per M. Perchonok/JSC]. See Perchonok for FY2008 reporting. 
COI Name (Institution):  
Grant/Contract No.:  
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Advanced Food Technology (AFT) is currently working to design a stable, palatable, and nutritious food supply, to support long-duration missions to the lunar surface and Mars. Identifying high-barrier food packaging is integral to this work, as food quality is greatly reduced upon interaction with moisture and oxygen. This research has been designed to evaluate the long-term performance of three packaging materials: a low barrier material, a clear high barrier material, and an opaque high barrier material. One ingredient and two food products, all extremely vulnerable to oxygen- and moisture-induced spoilage, will be packaged in the three materials. The quality of these food items with long-term storage at relevant temperature and humidity parameters, will be examined regularly by instrumental analysis and sensory evaluation. Quality of these food items over time will indicate the relative longevity of each packaging material. Recommendations for packaging of food items in long-duration missions will be given based on the findings of this study.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The study compares three commercially available packaging materials. The results could be helpful to food industry. No innovative technologies are being developed.

 

Task Progress: 1.0 Task Progress

The Comparative Packaging Study seeks to determine the adequacy of 3 types of packaging materials currently being considered for use in extended duration missions. The current packaging system for the International Space Station (ISS) food system consists of a primary package enclosed within a secondary overwrap. The primary package is a minimal barrier, transparent material (Combitherm®) aiding in processing and quality control; while the secondary overwrap is a high barrier, opaque material that ensures the product is protected and can meet the minimum shelf-life requirement of 18-months. While the overwrapped system consistently guarantees shelf-life, it also generates more mass, waste, and labor than would a single material system. Investigation of these materials will provide information to aid in assessing the compatibility of the current packaging system with long duration missions. Evaluation of a third material, translucent, high barrier material(Tolas®) will provide information on its long-term performance and feasibility for incorporating the material into long duration missions. Additionally, successful performance of the Tolas material without overwrapping to 18 months may allow reduction of the current system to a single package. The Comparative Packaging Study is being performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Tolas® material against our current primary packaging material (Combitherm®) and a material similar to our current overwrap (Technipaq®). Food items have been packaged in the materials, and put into storage at 25%, 50%, and 75% relative humidity. The quality of the food items has been evaluated at 3 month intervals. The study is currently approaching 15 months.

2.0 Conclusions

In general, storage at increasing humidity levels appears to affect the quality of foods packaged in Combitherm® and Tolas® materials. Instrumental evaluation of oil and sensory evaluation of peanuts suggested that prolonged storage at 75% RH is not appropriate for high lipid products packaged in the Combitherm® material. Long-term, high-humidity storage of Combitherm® oil and peanut samples appears to allow extensive oxidation of lipids in the foods.

Analytical and sensory evaluation of cereal samples suggests that storage at increasing relative humidities results in increased moisture absorption by low moisture products packaged in Combitherm® and Tolas® materials. The Combitherm® material was the most sensitive to both 50%RH and 75%RH storage; however, the Tolas® material did show significant moisture permeation at 75%RH. Sensory differences were typically observed after cereal moisture content had exceeded 8.00% moisture. Sensory differences were noticed for Combitherm® cereal after 12 months of storage at 75%RH and 15 months of storage at 50%RH. Similar differences were observed for the Tolas® cereal samples after 15 months of storage at 75%RH.

Although sensory evaluation did not measure product palatability, it is likely that the moisture induced changes observed in these samples affect quality negatively. Therefore, a secondary package will be required to preserve the quality of low moisture products in Combitherm® and Tolas® materials in high humidity storage.

3.0 Next Steps

The Comparative Packaging Study will continue through to FY 11, as outlined in the Directed Research Project Plan. Analytical measurements will continue to 36 months, to provide data on the long-term performance of the materials. A feasibility assessment will be conducted to evaluate the mass savings, practicality, and process modifications necessary to incorporate the Tolas® material into current flight food processing.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 01/30/2012) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2009  Task Last Updated:  09/01/2009 
PI Name: Catauro, Patricia  M.S. 
Project Title: Comparative Packaging Study  
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
HUMAN RESEARCH--Space Human Factors Engineering 
 
Joint Agency Name:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability
Human Research Program Risks:: (1) Food:Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to an Inadequate Food System
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) AFT04:We need to identify the methods, technologies, and requirements that will deliver a food system that provides adequate safety, nutrition, and acceptability for proposed long-duration Design Reference Mission operations. (Per IRP Rev E. Previous title: What technologies can be developed that will efficiently balance appropriate vehicle resources such as mass, volume, and crew time during exploration missions with the safety, nutrition, and acceptability requirements?)
PI Organization Type: NASA CENTER  Phone: 281.483.3632  
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center/Lockheed Martin 
PI Address 1: 1300 Hercules MC:C09 
PI Address 2:  
PI Web Page:  
City: Houston  State: TX 
Zip Code: 77058  Congressional District:  22 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  Directed Research 
Start Date: 10/01/2008  End Date:  09/30/2011 
No. of Post Docs:   No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates:   No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates:   No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:   Monitoring Center:  NASA JSC 
Contact Monitor: Woolford, Barbara   Contact Phone:  218-483-3701 
Contact Email: barbara.j.woolford@nasa.gov 
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI: NOTE: PI changed from Michele Perchonok to Patricia Catauro effective FY2009 (10/01/2008); was briefly Thomas Oziomek but changed to Catauro during the same fiscal year, i.e., FY2009 [information per M. Perchonok/JSC]. See Perchonok for FY2008 reporting.  
COI Name (Institution):  
Grant/Contract No.:  
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Future long duration manned space flights beyond low earth orbit will require the food system to remain safe, acceptable and nutritious. Development of high barrier food packaging will enable this requirement by preventing the ingress and egress of gases and moisture. New high barrier food packaging materials have been identified through a trade study. Practical application of this packaging material within a shelf life test will allow for better determination of whether this material will allow the food system to meet given requirements after the package has undergone processing.

The reason to conduct shelf life testing, using a variety of packaging materials, stems from the need to preserve food used for mission durations of several years. Chemical reactions that take place during longer durations may decrease food quality to a point where crew physical or psychological well-being is compromised. This can result in a reduction or loss of mission success. The rate of chemical reactions, including oxidative rancidity and staling, can be controlled by limiting the reactants, reducing the amount of energy available to drive the reaction, and minimizing the amount of water available. Water not only acts as a media for microbial growth, but also as a reactant and means by which two reactants may come into contact with each other.

Two food products, dry cereal and peanuts, and one ingredient, cottonseed oil, susceptible to oxygen and water vapor ingress were packaged in three different packaging materials and incubated at a fixed temperature (72 degrees F) and varying relative humidity. Storage at three relative humidities (25%, 50%, 75%) will simulate the midpoint and potential ranges of humidities on the Orion vehicle. Relative humidity is an important variable since it may impact the barrier properties of certain materials.

At three month intervals, sensory and quantitative analysis are being performed on the food items to measure changes due to oxygen and moisture migration through the packaging. Free fatty acid (FFA) and peroxide value (PV) are being performed on the oil for quantification of oxidative rancidity. Moisture analysis quantifies the moisture ingress of the cereal and hexanal analysis quantifies the level of rancidity in the peanut samples. Sensory methods, used only for cereal and peanuts, include Difference from Control testing which indicates when the food has changed enough for consumers to notice a difference. The data associated with the three packaging materials will be compared in order to determine which is best suited for future exploration missions.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The study compares three commercially available packaging materials. The results could be helpful to food industry. No innovative technologies are being developed.

 

Task Progress: The results confirm that the current primary package (Combitherm) is insufficient and therefore does require a secondary overwrap to provide the required 18 month shelf life. The new Tolas material is not performing as well as the overwrap (Technipaq) material, but is doing well and may prove to be sufficient in providing the required 18 month shelf life, while reducing the packaging to a single pouch. The results of the peanuts and cottonseed oil has shown no significant changes in the analytical results. Sensory evaluation for peanuts packaged in Combitherm and stored at 75%RH showed similar results to Cheerios, but no other noticeable changes were observed. Currently, the biggest factor effecting the samples is moisture, but rancidity, caused by oxygen ingress may become more apparent in the next 12 months of testing.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 01/30/2012) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
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