13 August, 2017
The speed at which Amazon has become a food company is kind of wonderful, and Reuters reported Friday that Amazon is talking to a startup called 915 Labs about its MATS (microwave-assisted thermal sterilization) technology for possible use in future products.
Backers of the technology, which was originally developed at Washington State (go Cougars), claim it can deliver the same flavor as prepared meals served hot or warmed up later, which I'll let someone else verify first. The university became the research hub for MATS and received US funding for the research. 915 Labs' MATS dishes are now pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. According to a university news release, the group's mission is to "accelerate technology transfer of microwave-based food safety".
MATS technology involves placing sealed packages of food in pressurized water and heating them with microwaves for several minutes to kill any bacteria. It also preserves nutrients, color, texture and flavor while providing up to a year's lifespan on shelves, making the meals suitable for storage and delivery.
Meals delivery would build on the company's AmazonFresh service, which has been delivering groceries to customers' homes for a decade and additionally, it would complement Amazon's planned $13.7-billion purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc and Amazon's checkout-free convenience store, which is being trialed.
Reuters reported that Amazon is looking at offering ready-to-eat dishes as soon as next year.
Amazon is seeking a bigger piece of the $700 billion USA grocery business.