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Self-heating field rations for up to 18 soldiers

Self-heating food packaging (SHFP) is active packaging with the ability to heat food contents without external heat sources or power. Packets typically use an exothermic chemical reaction. Other types of active packaging are self-cooling food packaging and radio-frequency identification (RFID). Packages like these are useful for military operations, during natural disasters, or whenever conventional cooking is not available. These packages are often used to prepare main courses such as meat dishes, which are more palatable when hot.


Commercial heat sources for self-heating food packaging use an exothermic (heat releasing) reaction between quicklime, or calcium oxide, and water. Quicklime, inexpensive and readily available, is generally recognized by the FDA as safe.[1] The product of the reaction is calcium hydroxide.


Current research focuses on cost reduction using reactions without odour or fumes. One heat source in development uses air-activation reactions that utilize oxidation of common metals like iron or zinc. Another uses solid fuel energy storage technology. The heating element contains aluminium and silica, two benign materials, which in an intimately mixed powdered state can undergo a chemical reaction to give off a large amount of heat. The small heater unit is formulated to give high utilization of the chemical energy content and generates 720 calories of heat per gram. [2] To view a demonstration of the aluminium/silica self-heating "Self-Heating Coffee Demonstration" on YouTube. Neither technology is commercially available..

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20070812132324/www.fda.gov/ora/inspect_ref/itg/itg17.html
  2. ^ http://heatgenie.com/our-technology/

Books, General References[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-heating_food_packaging — Please support Wikipedia.
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2 news items

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 00:05:19 -0800

ScaldoPack is a purpose-established company that develops and commercializes new types of self-heating and self-cooling packaging. ScaldoPack is the innovative endeavour of a chemical distributor, Werner Saelens, and a packaging specialist, Henno ...
Austin American-Statesman
Sun, 03 Jan 2010 09:19:52 -0800

There are now 30 Austin companies that have received grants from the fund, with technology as diverse as self-heating food packaging and innovative drug delivery systems. Commercial real estate. Central Texas' commercial real estate sector took a ...

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