LDP Camping Foods has been selling camping and backpacking
foods since 1991
Shelf Life of MREs and Freeze
Freeze Dried Foods
- The shelf life will vary even within brands
mainly by fat content. The more fat in the food, the less time it will
take for the flavor to go a little bit off. The time the food spends
in the freeze drier, the packaging method, and the packaging material determines shelf life. The time
spent in the freeze drier and the packing method will determine how much
moisture and oxygen is present in the food when it is packaged (less of each
is better). Finally, the packaging material will determine how much of each will seep in over time.
- Below is a
general guideline for storage at room temperature, ~75°F. These
numbers are conservative, and deal mainly with flavor. If you open a
pouch of any age, and it's damp inside, you should discard it. If the
pouch or can is out of date and the food inside is still dry, it will be
safe to eat, though the flavor may be a bit bland if you're a few years past
the "best by" date.
~30 yrs Mountain House cans (Shelf
- ~25 yrs
Backpacker's Pantry cans
- ~5-15 yrs Gourmet
~30 yrs Mountain House
~7 yrs Backpacker's Pantry
- ~5 yrs
AlpineAire, Natural High and Richmoor pouches
- ~1 yrs
Paleo Meals To Go pouches
The lifetimes of all of these freeze dried foods, no
matter how it's packaged, can be extended by storage in cool conditions.
Heat will shorten the times listed above. Since there is almost no
water in the packages, storage below freezing is not a problem, and will
extend the shelf life quite a bit further.
- The shelf life of MREs can be quite long.
Temperature is the determining factor. However, since there is water
in the MRE pouch, you should avoid repeated freezing and thawing, so the ice
crystals won't damage the texture of the food. Below is a table of the
expected shelf life of MREs.
- Temperature Months
- Temperatures lower than 60°F should extend
the shelf life past 130 months, but there's not enough data on tests of MREs
stored at lower temperatures for more than 12 years.
LDP Camping Foods
109A Gill Dr., Lafayette, Louisiana, 70507
800-826-5767 or 337-235-4695
This page was last modified on
April 3, 2015.