Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

Astronaut fruitcake

Written by Priyanka Kotamraju | Posted: August 25, 2013 3:02 am

ASTRONAUT FRUITCAKE

US Army Laboratories that developed space menus made public two fruitcake recipes from the Apollo missions in 2013 .

Recipe

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

3 cups diced dates or whole pitted dates,cut up

1 cup cherries,quartered

Method

Sift together flour,sugar and salt. Place nuts,cherries,quartered dates in a bowl and mix until pieces of fruit no longer stick together and nuts are well dispersed in the fruit mixture. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the fruit mixture,while mixing by hand. Beat eggs and vanilla until frothy. Add to the fruit mixture and mix until all ingredients are completely moistened. Generously grease bottoms of loaf pans,and bake fruitcake in preheated 300 degree (F.) oven for two hours. Store in airtight container.

EATING IDLI IN SPACE

Earlier this year the first items for India’s space menu for the manned mission to moon in 2016 were made ready at the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in Mysore.

Idlis: the size of Rs 2 coins. Each one is 12 gm which can swell to 25 gm when soaked in water. Also in this pack are spicy sambar powder and coconut chutney dust. DFRL is also working on space rasgullas,made from freeze-dried cottage cheese. The syrup is packed separately in powder form. DFRL’s biggest achievement is space yoghurt. In 1983,when Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian in space,the lab supplied mango bars,a twist on the traditional aam papad. Next up is space dosa,once the lab figures out the right size.

TYPES OF SPACE FOOD

Weight and volume are primary design factors in anything that goes to space.

Rehydratable Food: One way weight can be conserved during launch is to remove water in the food system. Fuel cells that produce electricity combine hydrogen and oxygen to rehydrate food.

Thermostabalised Food: Thermostabilised foods are heat processed to destroy harmful microorganisms and enzymes.

Natural Form Foods: Ready to eat foods like granola bars.

Irradiated Meat: Steaks are cooked,packaged and sterilised by exposure to ionising radiation so they are stable at ambient temperature.

Compiled by priyanka kotamraju; Illustration: C R Sasikumar

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