Amazon Looking To Win With Food Technology

Amazon is reportedly testing emerging food technology originally developed for the U.S. military that would allow it to sell complete prepared meals that don’t require refrigeration.

Amazon is rushing into groceries and more broadly food at lightning speed, on Friday Reuters reported that Amazon is in talks with a startup called 915 Labs about its Microwave-Assisted Thermal Sterilization (MATS) technology. The technology could enable Amazon to sell high-quality private brand meals. The process was first developed for the U.S. military to produce prepared meals that do not need refrigeration.

According to 915 labs website:

Available exclusively through 915 Labs, Microwave Assisted Thermal Sterilization (MATS™) and Microwave Assisted Pasteurization (MAPS™) solve one of the most pressing challenges facing the food industry today: providing consumers with high quality, natural and additive-free packaged foods.

By shortening the time food is exposed to high heat, the patented MATS and MAPS technologies preserve the color, taste and texture of food — while eliminating the need for excess sodium, additives and enhancers.

The result? High-quality, great-tasting, safe and convenient packaged foods.

Processing food with MATS is dramatically different than conventional food processing, also called ‘retort.’ In conventional processing, packaged foods are placed in pressurized cookers at high temperatures for up to an hour. To mask the damage caused by this prolonged exposure to high heat, salt, flavor, texture and color enhancers, and other unnatural ingredients must be added.

MATS simultaneously immerses packaged food in pressurized hot water and heats with microwave energy at a frequency of 915 megahertz, eliminating pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in a matter of minutes. This patented process preserves the nutrients, color, texture and flavor of foods — while providing a shelf life equivalent to conventionally processed foods.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.