Humans have conducted numerous space missions in past decades and its success depends upon many factors, including astronaut health as the major factor. Health and nutrition are two vital components of life derived from food which helps in keeping one’s body alive, nourished as well as energetic, including the astronauts during their long-duration manned missions. With the advancement in research and technology, it became possible to include a wide variety of dishes in the space menu, with most of them being similar to those eaten on the earth. This review highlights the evolution of space food starting from mission Mercury to the current International Space Station. Furthermore, it also enlightens and focuses on types of space food, its packaging considerations, and vitamin A-rich energy balls as potential space food. Many deleterious effects of outer space explorations have been observed on the human body, such as loss of body mass, visionrelated changes, loss in bone density, and even anemia. To overcome these issues, various considerations must be followed while designing space food. The nutritional requirement plays an important role in a space mission. Various foods have the potential to overcome the limitations caused by a space mission. Thus, while developing space food, various parameters should be taken into consideration, such as deficiencies and illness. The food should be compact, bite-sized, easily digestible, and shelf-stable. Further research is required to better gain insight into the technological advancements while considering the nutritional status and requirements of astronauts in a space mission.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01982.x] [PMID: 21535783]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-food-022811-101222] [PMID: 22136130]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.1967.03120200057007] [PMID: 6071522]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02445.x] [PMID: 22260129]