[UPDATE (Nov 2012): See our latest article on pouch freeze dried shelf life with new information on this shelf life between Freeze-Dried Mountain House Pouches and Wise Company pouches. Looks like afterall a pouch can reach can shelf life levels if high quality (thickness) and use of 02 absorber. As we get more details in the coming weeks and months we will come back and update the information below with the latest findings.]
Something we are seeing more and more are companies that are coming out with pouch product lines and making bold shelf life claims as much as 25-30 years for their food storage meals. These newer companies, most with a few years in business, are making claims that are 2-3 times longer than other companies that have been in business for 40 plus years such as Mountain House who only claims 7 years shelf life in their pouches (and 25 in their cans).
After looking at the different claims we thought who would know better than suppliers of Mylar pouches. We called two and both of them would not promise multiple decades of shelf life with their pouches. Whether they were trying to err on the side of caution or not the only group claiming 25 years are the companies that put their whole food storage strategy behind pouching (Wise Food Storage for example).
So can you eat food that is nutritious and safe after it has been stored in a pouch for 25 years? You can, IF you store it in a 50 degree cold cellar… but that is not realistic and typical of most people’s situations. Stored in 70-75 degree you will be more in the range of the claims from Oregon Freeze Dry (Mountain House).
In the end buy pouch products for these following reasons:
1. They make a good shorter term grab-n-go food option.
2. They are great for camping and more frequent use.
3. Pouches allow you to try a meal without committing to a #10 can that is more costly.
4. Make a quick meal when the fridge is bare and you don’t want to go out for a bite.