Investigations of resistance of military meals-ready-to-eat (MRE) to incursion by stored product insect pests

Wednesday, November 13, 2013: 3:15 PM
Meeting Room 18 B (Austin Convention Center)
Robert T. Puckett , Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Roger E. Gold , Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Military meals-ready-to-eat (MRE) are self-contained, single-meal rations designed for consumption by United States military personnel when in situations where food preparation centers are non-existent.  Stored product pest insects represent a significant threat to the short- and long-term storage of MRE’s.  As a result, the U.S. military, along with MRE manufacturers have sponsored research to develop trials to investigate the effectiveness of a variety of MRE over-wrap materials with respect to their ability to prevent incursion by common stored product insect pests.  Laboratory trials were designed and conducted to determine the physical resistance of three MRE over-wrap materials, with regards to incursion by a variety of stored product insect pests including red flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), sawtoothed grain beetles, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Linnaes) (Coleoptera: Silvanidae), Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), warehouse beetles, Trogoderma variabile (Ballion) (Coleoptera: Dermestidae), and cigarette beetles, Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Anobiidae).  We will present the results of these trials which indicate several effective MRE over-wrap types, which may also prove useful for protection of other products and materials.