Amazon looking at cutting-edge food technology for home delivery

Amazon looking at cutting-edge food technology for home delivery

Amazon is reportedly exploring a new technology that could be used to produce ready-to-eat meals that do not need refrigeration. The online shopping giant is planning to sell food prepared with microwave assisted thermal sterilization technology (MATS). The university became the research hub for MATS and received USA funding for the research.

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The technology was being brought to market by a Denver-based venture-backed startup called 915 Labs. It was at the Paris Food Trade Show a year ago that Amazon stumbled upon the idea. 915 Labs' MATS dishes are now pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. In March, Amazon joined the university's researchers and other companies in Seattle for the initial meeting of the Industrial Microwave Alliance.

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MATS technology involves placing sealed packages of food in pressurized water and heating them with microwaves for several minutes to kill any bacteria.

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Amazon's move may be launched as soon as next year. Cutting out those steps with completely pre-cooked meals which require just reheating would seemingly fit perfectly with Amazon's convenience-above-all-else approach, but it remains to be seen whether customers would be comfortable with such non-refrigerated meal packages. If that's true, however, it could open up a whole new line of business for Amazon's food ambitions, which are quite large as evidenced by its $13.7 billion acquisition offer to Whole Foods. Amazon could sell these meals as part of its Amazon Fresh service, through delivery services, or even directly from its fulfillment centers, according to the report.