Mission: Space Food is a food innovation laboratory inspired by space exploration.
At MSF, we are taking the art and science of food to the next level. The constraints of space travel and microgravity provide an ideal design framework for unique flavor experiences. Driven by our ground-breaking food science innovations in space, MSF’s healthy-by-design approach to the pleasures of eating, combines climate-conscious ingredients and novel packaging, with experiential solutions, for a healthier, more sustainable global food industry on Earth.
Our team of space engineers, classically-trained chefs, multisensory designers, and astronauts, are leveraging the most recent insights from the emerging scientific field of Gastrophysics.
What We Do
In the wake of the 21st century, humans inevitably start looking into their long-term future as a spacefaring civilization. One of the pillars of human life, eating, becomes an increasingly important field of multidisciplinary innovation to be able to support life outside of Earth.
Simultaneously, human society wakes up to the fact that the current food system is deeply flawed, becoming the main contributor to climate change and ecosystem degradation, putting all life under existential risk.
In preparation of missions to set a base on Earth’s moon, the first human interplanetary mission to Mars, and the rise of Space Tourism, the International Space Station (ISS) serves as a platform to prototype the most efficient food systems and meals in microgravity that are both delicious, resource-efficient, nutritious, and sustainable.
By re-imagining astronaut food on the ISS, Mission: Space Food creates eating experiences that have the potential to address public health and ecological constraints on earth, seeding the eating rituals and flavours for centuries to come.
Shahreen Reza is the Founder of Mission: Space Food. Her first start-up, PurifAid, developed cleantech using the byproduct of Scotch Whisky to decontaminate industrially polluted water in Europe, and brought it to the villages of Bangladesh to tackle the arsenic water crisis through adsorption technology. After her company was acquired, she worked as Deputy Head of Global Business for Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley start-up focused on big data integration.
She studied Finance & Strategy in Sciences-Po, Paris, and holds an MPhil in Counter-Terrorism and Security from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelors in Philosophy, Russian Literature, and Politics from Trinity College, University of Toronto. Shahreen trained at Cordon Bleu, Paris and apprenticed at a Michelin Star restaurant in California, and the iconic French bistro, Chez Marcel, in Paris. Shahreen founded Mindful, University of Toronto’s first peer review journal of Ethics and Political Theory, currently in its 10th year of publication. Shahreen specializes in global business development.
If I could bring one food to Mars, it would be...
I love all kinds of dumplings, whether it’s soup dumplings, buff momos, pierogies, matzo balls, empanadas or samosas.
According to Max Falkowitz, of the Dumpling Galaxy:
We can argue about the mechanics, but what does a dumpling make us feel? Dumplings are about condensing delight. It's about combining a lot of flavors and textures in one bite or two.
Multisensory Flavour Designer
Charles Michel is the creative director of flavor experiences for MSF. Trained in classical fine dining, he worked in Michelin-star restaurants between 2005 and 2009. From 2013 to 2016, Michel was the “Chef-in-residence” of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, University of Oxford, co-authoring 15 papers on multisensory food aesthetics, part of the emerging field of “gastrophysics”. He has spoken extensively about the future of food in prestigious stages such as the Royal Institution, TED, and The Royal Society. In 2017 he was chosen by Netflix as one of the 24 best chefs in the world to take part in a global culinary competition in which he starred as one of the most memorable contestants for his innovative science and art-inspired perspective.
He is a food educator at the prestigious culinary institution “Institut Paul Bocuse” in Lyon, France, and a multisensory experience designer with companies such as Michel/Fabian, reinventing the way humans interact with food through the design of science-inspired eating utensils.
What makes you passionate about Space?
The greatest advancements in human civilization were shaped after a group of unreasonable adventurers said “what if we sailed in that direction until we find something, or die trying?”.
Today, humanity is moving beyond it’s life bubble, and that is maybe one of the most exciting endeavours of our time - one that might awaken us to take better care of our dear pale blue dot.
Dr. Aaron Persad
Dr. Aaron Persad will be leading hardware, integration, and operations development at MSF. He has 15 years of experience in space sciences, microgravity research and mechatronics. Dr. Aaron Persad is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Microfluidics and Nanofluidics Research Lab in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He ranked 2nd in Canada in Mechanical Engineering for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. At MIT, he is leading investigations related to deep space human travel including water recovery and purification, and the development of life support systems.
Dr. Persad served as a Canadian member of the European Space Agency’s Microgravity Applications Program mission team between 2010 and 2017, and he has designed and built payloads for the International Space Station which flew on SpaceX CRS-7 and CRS-9 to investigate the thermodynamic stability of water in weightlessness. He has led six microgravity flight campaigns for US customers, including NASA, between 2015 and 2018. Dr. Persad formerly worked in the Canadian Space Agency’s Life and Physical Sciences division managing the agency’s parabolic flight campaigns. He co-founded Canada's student parabolic flight campaign competition in 2016.
If I could bring one food to Mars, it would be...
Bake and shark!
The crunch of each bite with tamarind chutney always reminds me of Maracas beach in Trinidad.