Cheese and nuts in space

Forget images of germ-free processed space rations. The crew of the international space station will now be able to feast on a range of Italian delicacies, Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori revealed in Kazakhstan on Thursday as he prepares to blast off.

“One of the particularities of this mission is that we’ll be taking Italian food with us, traditional products from the Latium region, to give the international space station an Italian flavour,” Vittori said at a press conference ahead of Friday’s take-off.

Cheese, nuts, biscuits, sweets and honey will liven up the menu astronauts apparently often moan about on their long missions in space. They will also be tested for loss of flavour or nutritional value in weightless conditions.

Vittori, Russia’s Serguei Krikalev and American John Phillips blast off on Friday at 6.46am local time on the Soyouz TMA-6 and will link up with the space station on Sunday.

Food hygiene standards developed for space missions have since been widely implemented in industrial food production.—AFP