Military Food Research on the Food Industry Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1493 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture

¶ … military food research on the food industry has emerged in recent years as a topic of growing significance and importance to citizens, scientists and government officials alike.

Military research on food has had a significant impact on the food industry, mainly because military research in this area often consists of food preservation, nutrition and performance enhancements. All of these categories directly impact the economic and nutritional aspects of the food industry. Research indicates that food intake in the military is influenced by the same factors that influence food intake in non-military settings. This paper will analyze and discuss the impact of such research on the food industry as a whole.

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Military research on the food industry often consists of studies conducted on the diets of those serving in the military, and how those diets may be modified to improve performance. The National Academy of Sciences published a report in 2004 from the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board concluding that combat soldiers engaged in extended field operations might improve their mental sharpness and physical stamina by eating a diet supplemented with specific food components. Similar research indicates that other food components also have been shown to have beneficial effects, but some do not live up to performance expectations. In the 2004 report, the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board examined six food components; tyrosine, choline, carbohydrates, caffeine, carnitine, and structured lipids. The military judged, on the basis of recent research, that these food components would have the most potential for sharpening an individual's performance under the strain of military missions (National Academy of Sciences, at (http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309074843?).The study was the first review of scientific research on these food components to judge their potential for enhancing mental and physical performance.

Term Paper on Military Food Research on the Food Industry Assignment

The impact of this report on the food industry was that although the research was conducted in the context of performing military tasks, the findings and recommendations may have widespread implications for individuals in any job setting (National Academy of Sciences, at (http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309074843?).For example, Tyrosine, an amino acid important in forming chemicals that transmit nerve impulses in the brain, may improve vigilance and lessen anxiety in people exposed to a stressful environment (National Academy of Sciences, at (http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309074843?).Research on Tyrosine received a recommended expansion of further research studies on it, with an emphasis on determining effective doses and safety for short- and long-term use. Another study involved Choline, which is critical for sending neural signals to a number of tissues. A choline deficiency produces early fatigue and reduces muscle performance (National Academy of Sciences, at (http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309074843?)).In this study, choline supplementation during a 20-mile run improved run time by five minutes. As a result, carefully controlled laboratory studies with human subjects followed by field studies to evaluate choline's performance enhancement potential will be examined in the future.

These studies provide a starting point for further studies, and more research is needed to define the conditions in which supplementation would be effective and the safe limits for any diet supplementation. Other studies involve Irradiation Technology, widely used in the medical and aerospace fields, which is now being applied to various types of food. Research indicates that irradiation possesses a great potential in the food industry because it kills microorganisms without cooking the food (Erickson, at (http://www.mercola.com/artcile/irradiated/irradiated_research.htm).Since the general public is very wary of radiation, consumer acceptance of the process has been very slow. As a result, studies such as these are better conducted in the military environment. The microwave susceptor has made a lot of consumer products, such as microwave pizzas and popcorn, acceptable. The microwave susceptor was developed as a result of Stealth bomber research, and was originally designed to dissipate radar imaging (Erickson, at (http://www.mercola.com/artcile/irradiated/irradiated_research.htm).It was then found to have the same effect on microwaves, creating a high level of heat. This is an example of a product that would not have hit the food industry if it was not being researched by the military.

The above example indicates the manner in which the military sector of industry, with its unique requirements for palatable food products for use under extreme conditions, is responsible for a wide range of commercially marketed foods. Jerry Darsch, chief of the food technology division at the Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center, reports that 23% of today's total food expenditures can be traced back to Natick's military-directed research (Erickson, at (http://www.mercola.com/artcile/irradiated/irradiated_research.htm).For example, the Army's Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are packaged in trilaminate flexible, or retort, pouches that are… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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