By Darrell HuffPosted 06.15.2012 at 9:45 am 7 Comments
This article originally appeared in the April 1956 issue of Popular Science. You can explore more of our archives--stretching back 140 years--here.
"Put that hamburger back in the refrigerator before it spoils," my wife advised. "What're you doing, dreaming?"
Barb Stuckey hands me a plastic tray of mashed potatoes sealed with an opaque layer of film. “We packaged these up over a year ago,” she says. The United States Potato Board has asked Stuckey and her colleagues at Mattson, a commercial food lab in Foster City, California, to devise a way to put fresh, ready-to-eat mashed potatoes into a package that can sit unrefrigerated on a supermarket shelf for months. Just open, warm, and serve.
Those of us who want to keep meat from spoiling for more than a few weeks have had limited options till now. We can cure it into bacon or sausage; freeze it or dry it; or buy it supermarket-"fresh" in a shrink-wrapped envelope. Now Daniel J. O'Sullivan, a professor at the U. of Minnesota, has a new solution that might keep a piece of meat fresh for years on the shelf.