FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - SHELF STABLE FOODS
What are XMREs?
MRE stands for "Meals Ready to Eat" . All the contents of these shelf stable foods are fully cooked and can be eaten hot or cold. Each standard MRE has an average of 1,250 calories, which replicates the calorie count of a complete meal. There is no need to add water to an MRE. Simply open the pouch and enjoy!
The big breakthrough was the POUCH. Its three special layers allow the food to be sealed and then cooked inside and never exposed to the air again. The resulting taste and texture beats any dehydrated and freeze dried food rations.
What are the benefit and its uses of MREs?
Some of the benefits of XMRE are:
What are common uses of XMRE?
MREs were originally used only in the military, but the truth is that MREs are perfect for any outdoor use and/or emergency situation. The special pouches they use provide a long shelf stable without refrigeration. Many private entities, law enforcement, hospitals, fire departments, FEMA, Red Cross and government agencies storage depend on MREs as a part of their emergency plan for food supplies.
We are also seeing more campers, hikers and other extreme outdoor sport and activity people use them. After all, they are a complete meal, ready to eat, portable, and relatively light weight.
What is the Shelf Life of an XMRE?
X-MRE 's can have a shelf-life of 5 years or more depending on storage temperature and conditions. Below is a chart that gives rough estimates of MREs and their shelf life based on temperature.
Can I Freeze an XMRE Pouch ?
Freezing an X-MRE retort pouch will not destroy the food inside, but repeated freezing increases the chance that the pouch lamination will fail. MRE pouches are designed to withstand 1,000 flexes, but repetitive freezing does increase the failure rate by a small fraction of a percent.
What is included in a typical MRE?
Each complete standard X-MRE meal provides a generous 1100 to 1400 calories per meal. Most MRE meals currently offered on the market are "civilianized" versions and use a combination of both military MRE components, i.e, entree and side dishes, with the addition of commercial components such as snack items and an accessory packet. The "civilianized" MREs are much more affordable than the military versions. Most come packed 12 meals to a case.
Each standard XMRE complete Meal pouch Typically Includes:
ENTRÉE : Variety of Beef, chicken, pork, tuna, or vegetarian entrees
BREAD ITEMS :Regular crackers, vegetable cracker, snack bread or flour tortillas
BEVERAGES : Single or assortment fruit flavored drink mix , Isotonic fruit flavored beverages and/or dairy shakes
SNACKS / SPREADS: Variety of portion controlled, snacks and/or spreads
CANDY /DESSERT : Variety of individually packed fruit flavored or chocolate candy, instant pudding wet pack fruit or other dessert items.
DINNING KIT :Spoon or spork, napkin, salt and pepper
REFRESHMENT KIT : Moist towelete , toothpicks , mint and/or peppermint flavored treats
XMRE Optional Heater: Flameless Meal/Ration Heater - individually packed inside of each Standard Complete XMRE (12 Total Heaters)
What do MRE's Taste Like?
That’s a pretty subjective question and obviously depending on whom you speak with you will get a different answer. Just like canned goods, you either like them or you don’t. Many people feel that MREs are just as good if not better than canned food. MREs are very convenient and there are people who enjoy them enough to eat them regularly when they need a quick meal for lunch or dinner. To be clear, these are not going to be as good as home cooked meals, but they are not designed to be. They are designed to last and that home cooked meal won’t last more than a week, let alone 3 years, but they are surprisingly good.
Are XMRE's Dehydrated or Freeze-Dried?
No. MRE's are totally different. Unlike dehydrated or freeze dried foods which both require water to reconstitute them, MRE's are precooked "in the pouch" and retain their full moisture like canned food items, just with a much longer shelf-life.
Can XMRE's be Eaten Cold?
Yes. Each MRE entree can be eaten cold, directly from the pouch. Most likely you will enjoy eating MRE's hot more than you will like eating them cold, but for certain if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot, for whatever reason, heat it up, they are perfectly safe to eat cold.
What’s the Best Way to Warm/Heat Up an MRE?
U. S. soldiers and thousands of Emergency Relief workers around the world have been forced to eat MREs cold. They weren't intended to be eaten cold, but one of their great advantages is that they can be. MREs have served their purpose well with no reheating in personal emergencies, family emergencies, and city or state emergencies (earthquakes, toxic spills, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, etc.).
If you don't have a heater pouch, X-MRE pouches can be heated in a variety of different ways depending on the situation. Below you will find a few additional and common ways of heating them.
No matter how you heat your XMRE entree meal, although the foil pouch is very strong and durable, it can be damaged if too high a temperature is applied. NEVER apply direct flame to the pouch like from a BBQ or campfire. The outer and inner layers of plastic laminate will melt and contaminated the food.
Why should I store food?
We have all seen the recent shows on tv that showcase families and individuals storing years and years worth of food in case there is some kind of global catastrophe. More and more families and individuals are becoming better prepared all the time and we believe you should as well. The world is an uncertain place and as we watch the news and see the instability around the globe, it’s easy to become concerned. For most people, however, this is not the reason why you should store food.
Depending on what part of the country you live in, the reasons are simple. If you live along the Southeast coast of the United States, hurricanes are a real threat. As we have seen in the recent past, a strong hurricane can knock out power for weeks or more. A supply of food, and especially water, is extremely important. Food within the refrigerator will spoil long before the power comes on after a strong storm. In an area like the West Coast, earthquakes can be a problem. Not only could you be left without power, you might also be trapped by roads that have either caved in or are covered with debris. Having a store of food and water on hand at all times is really a necessity that most people don’t pay attention to. The U.S. government's HOMELAND DEFENSE DEPARTMENT recommends that all individuals and families should have an emergency food reserve, 72 hour emergency kits, etc. Having a backup food reserve could end up being one of the most important purchases you make for you and your family. This purchase can bring you peace of mind that if ANYTHING were to happen, whether an act of God or an act of terrorism, your family will have the supplies it needs until help arrives.