Several research institutes and experimental plants are operating in Russia for the production of food products for space. This country is the only one in the world where operating organizations specialized in the manufacture of food for the space.
At first the product is frozen. The freezing temperature is from minus 30 to minus 70 degrees – it varies depending on the type of product. Then, the machine creates a vacuum to enhance sublimation and the products are heated to a temperature of 50 or 60 degrees and slowly dried. Ice crystals evaporate from the product immediately, without going into the water. Thus all the nutrients remain in the product. It saves up to 90 percent of its native properties.
Only four products are still available in tubes: sauce, seasoning, mustard and honey. A major part of the diet consists of heat sterilized products (products in cans: meat, fish or vegetable) and products of sublimation and thermal drying, which account for approximately 40 percent of the total volume of products: the first and second lunch dishes, juices, cheese, etc. They are packaged in aluminum cans or packages made of metallized polymeric skin, which allows you to restore dehydrated products before use, so to say hydrate or “waterfiil” it.
The life-support systems on board of the International Space Station includes the SRV-K2M – system for water recovery from atmospheric moisture condensation. This is the only place where the astronaut can “get hot water”. The maximum water temperature which an astronaut can get is 85 degrees Celsius. This is enough to kill all bacteria, brew tea and coffee, and rehydrate freeze-dried foods. Boiling water at 100 degrees would have a negative effect on the system. It would be necessary to eliminate the effect of vaporization.
A tea package. The first thing that an astronaut has to do is to determine the integrity of the packaging and check the expiration date. Then to cut the tea bag on the colored line. It should be noted that any packaging in space is not completely cut off, usually small objects fly all over the place, and their independent life in conditions of weightlessness is highly undesirable. Then the package serves as the glass filled with water. When filling the water package, the astronaut tries hard to hold on to it. If the package slips, the water can burn their hands. Also, a hot water bubble randomly flying in conditions of weightlessness can create a lot of trouble.
Everything is fixed with “scotch” tape, on the table.
A package of juice. Alcohol and sodas are prohibited.
Space bread – wheat, rye and ginger. On the front is the label, and on the back side is how it actually looks. The pieces are a few grams each.