Mountain House Rips Wise Company Over Oxygen Levels
In a level of competitive rivalry usually not seen in the food storage industry, Mountain House (Oregon Freeze Dry) released a press release attacking the quality of Wise Company‘s food. Although the attack is highly inflammatory and not conducted by a non-biased third-party source, there are many valuable things you can learn from it. It reads:
Consumers should be aware that there are four main contributors to food spoilage: water, heat, light, and oxygen. Freeze drying removes 98% of the water in food, while dehydrating removes between 80% and 97%. Storing food in a cool, dark place helps to avoid heat and light exposure. However, the fourth factor, oxygen, can only be averted through quality processing and packaging, which is where the study found competitor’s products falling short.
“Our curiosity was piqued when we saw brands such as Wise Company implying that their pouches have up to a 25-year shelf life, which is rarely found in pouches of freeze-dried foods,” commented Norm Jager, head of research and development for Mountain House. “Freeze-dried meals serve families in times of dire need when emergencies hit, which means that it’s imperative that these foods deliver on the promises made. So instead of just sitting on the sidelines, we decided to test their products in an effort to educate consumers across the U.S. on the importance of oxygen, which should ideally be less than 2 percent for long term food storage.”
Mountain House commissioned Columbia Food Laboratories to test 30 samples of dehydrated and freeze dried meals from Wise Company as well as 30 samples of comparable Mountain House freeze dried meals. The results were staggering. Average oxygen levels in Wise Company products were 18.25%, nearly the 21% level found in the atmosphere and 110 times higher than the average 0.16% oxygen found in Mountain House products.
We don’t take sides here at the Foodstoragereviewer.com but we do like to make recommendations based on sound science and experience. It’s highly unlikely Wise products can match Mountain House for shelf life simply because it doesn’t use truly freeze-dried food and does not package in air-tight #10 cans. However, shelf life is not the only measure of value when it comes to food storage. We have five different food storage profiles, and we leave it up to you to decide which features are most important.