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Natick Labs Cooking Up Tastier, Healthier MREs For Troops

NATICK (CBS) -- Good news for hungry soldiers: MREs – or "meals ready to eat" -- are getting a makeover.

The Army's test kitchen at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is working on MREs that will not only improve fighting performance, but taste better, too.

Watch The Report On CBS This Morning

MREs are essential in the battlefield, however some troops refer to them as "meals rarely edible" and "meals rejected by the enemy."

In Natick, scientists are trying to reverse that reputation with more palatable creations like a chocolate protein bar packed with vitamins, and a fluffy lemon pound cake containing omega three fatty acids.

And one MRE scheduled to roll out in 2017 really has soldiers talking – pizza.

Preventing bread, cheese sauce and meat from spoiling for three years has been a daunting challenge for decades. This time, the experts think they've got it right.

"We're able to control the water and stop it from going from the sauce into the bread by binding the molecules," the Defense Department's Jeremy Whitsitt tells CBS This Morning.

And it met the approval of at least one soldier who got to taste test the new offerings.

"It actually tastes like a cold pizza, like a typical pizza from the night before," said Pvt. Bryce Keller. "This is delicious. I like this a lot."

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