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Israeli firm targets military ration packs: 'We’ll sell to anybody'

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+

14-Apr-2014
Last updated the 16-Apr-2014 at 09:18 GMT

“We believe our products are like the ration box," says Easy Line.
“We believe our products are like the ration box," says Easy Line.

Israeli company Easy Line says its products hold military ration pack potential, and it will be angling for export to any national military.

The nutrition company, established in 2001, said its range of products including Easy Shake, Easy Meal and Easy Pudding, met nutritional requirements for hospitalised or recovering patients as well as holding potential for the ration packs of, “war fighters”.

Adi Levi, marketing and sales manager for the company, said the products provided soldiers with the 5000 daily calories needed considering their level of physical activity, whilst also being suitable for vegans.

Steering clear of geo-political tensions, she said the company would treat all prospective customers equally. “We’ll sell to everybody,” she told us in Tel Aviv recently.  

An army marches on its stomach

“We believe our products are like the ration box. There’s a small place to put food but packaged with calories and vitamins,” she said.

The company said it had been in discussions with the UN peace force, and had already gained safety approval by the Israeli Ministry of Health. The company did not give further

details as to the state forces it had contacted or planned to contact. 

In the US recently, researchers suggested that soldiers and service personnel should be given omega-3 supplements to reduce suicide risk after it was revealed that the population had low levels of the nutrient that has been linked to depression management.

Last year President Obama said in a speech at the Disabled American Veterans Convention that there was an “epidemic” of military-related suicides, with Pentagon figures for the number of suicides among the army's active-duty ranks tripling from 52 soldiers in 2001 to 185 in 2012.

Taste challenges of vitamins

Some of Easy Line’s products – the Easy Drink, Easy Fibre contain canola oil, a plant-based source of omega-3. However Levi said this was not a main focus since its use in enteral nutrition for recovering patients had not been scientifically proven. 

“Also it has a bad smell,” she added.

She said soldiers need to consume high calorie foods, but that ultimately they wanted the familiar taste of food they were used to in civilian life.

Levi said achieving this taste while incorporating the vitamins was a challenge, while also effecting shelf life. For this reason she said the Easy Pudding product came with the vitamins in a separate capsule which can be added to the mix at the point of consumption. The sucrose-free powder contains whey protein for 20g of protein and 509 calories per 100g serving.

Levi described this product as a kind of flan when added to water, and said it was available in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavour. 

Meanwhile the firm's Easy Meal K2, which it said can give a soldier or patient all of the nutrients needed for a day, contains vitamins A, D, E, K, B1, B3, B6, B12, C, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc and other minerals and vitamins. This product contains 1.8mg of iron per 100g, while the UK's National Health Service (NHS) states adult men need 8.7mg per day and women 14.8mg. Meanwhile it contains 11.8mg of vitamin C per 100g and 127mg of calcium, while the NHS recommends 40mg of vitamin C for adults per day and 700mg of calcium. 

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