Refrigeration and quick-freezing have been used to help preserve food flavor and nutrients and to prevent spoilage. While these forms of packaged food products are suitable for travel on Earth, they are not always suitable for use on spaceflights. From Project Mercury's food contained in tubes to the International Space Station's food on specially designed trays, the introduction to the Space Food and Nutrition Educator Guide discusses the evolution of meals in microgravity. The introduction also lists and defines the eight categories of space food and briefly explains the considerations made when planning meals for space missions.

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