Food items suggested had to meet these criteria to be eligible.
- Item must be commercially* available (food items must be commercially available before and after the contest closes).
*There are no refrigeration or freezer capabilities on the International Space Station therefore food needs to have a shelf-life of at least one year. Commercially available products have undergone shelf-life testing and food processing facilities use various food safety and quality assurance programs to ensure commercially available food is safe for consumption.
- Item must be a product of Canada.
- No beverages.
- No alcoholic ingredients.
- Preference given to products low in sodium (Low salt level. Check the % Daily Value on the nutrition facts table on the package to find out if your item has low sodium: 5% or less is a little and 15% or more is a lot.)
Onboard the International Space Station
- No fridge or freezer are available onboard the Station. Items should have a long shelf-life capacity (such as canned, dried, vacuum sealed, and dehydrated food).
- No glass containers.
- No carbonated items (like soft drinks).
- Only a hot and cold water dispenser, a convection oven and a food warmer for cans are available on board the ISS to prepare food items.
Because of the weightless environment, the following criteria should be considered:
- Low amount of crumbs.
- No strong odours that will linger.
- Items must be consumed directly from package.
The winning snacks
- Canadian Space Agency experts reviewed all entries and prepared a short list based on the criteria. A panel of judges, including astronaut Chris Hadfield, met in the summer of 2011 to took part in a "taste challenge". Between five to ten (5 to 10) Canadian snacks were selected.
- Common trade names provided by the contestants are for the purpose of product identification only. No endorsement of any product in particular is implied.
- After completion of the space mission and upon the return of the astronaut, contestants who suggested the winning snacks will receive a personalized photo of Chris aboard the International Space Station savouring the Canadian snacks suggested.
- All decisions of the Canadian Space Agency, the panel of judges and of Chris Hadfield are final.
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