Microwave Assisted Thermal Sterilization, or MATS™, is a breakthrough technology that improves the quality and nutritional value of shelf-stable foods. Available exclusively through 915 Labs, MATS is a solution to one of the most pressing challenges facing our industry today: meeting the growing consumer demand for high quality, natural and additive-free packaged foods.

By transforming the thermal sterilization process, the patented MATS system preserves the color, taste and texture of food — while eliminating the need for excess sodium, additives and enhancers. This breakthrough technology enables food manufacturers to deliver a wide variety of high quality, nutritious and clean-label packaged foods with mass-market distribution, pricing and convenience.


 
Food companies have a huge challenge before them: to meet consumer demand for fresher, healthier and more natural foods. With MATS, we are offering a solution that meets the needs of big food today and contributes in a very real way to the clean eating movement.
— Michael Locatis, CEO, 915 Labs
 

Processing food with MATS is dramatically different than conventional food processing, also called ‘retort.’ By transforming the way food is thermally processed, the MATS system creates the possibility of a whole new range of healthful, shelf-stable foods — from tender spears of asparagus to spicy Indian dishes to gourmet foodstuffs — each with a ‘clean’ or additive-free label.


 
 
 

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 heats packaged food externally in a pressurized hot water bath and internally using a patented microwave energy delivery system at a frequency of 915 megahertz. This combination of approaches very rapidly heats the entire package of food to sterilization temperature and then rapidly cools the food to minimize any heat damage, eliminating pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in a matter of minutes.

This shortened heating time preserves the nutrients, color, texture and flavor of foods — while providing a shelf life equivalent to conventionally processed foods.


 
MATS offers significant improvement in product quality and energy efficiency over legacy process technologies. Food color, texture, flavor, and nutrition is better preserved through less over-heating.
— Michael Hyche, Principal at Process Capability Partners, a consulting firm specializing in shelf-stable food manufacturing