MATS Could Boost Healthy Eating

Canned and jarred goods might be a staple in our pantries and lives now, but emerging technology may soon alter the way we preserve our food. The technology in question is Microwave Assisted Thermal Sterilization (MATS) from 915 Labs, a new approach to shelf-stable food which is clean-eating friendly.

In contemporary food processing—called “retort”—like canning, perishable foods are packaged in airtight containers and sterilized with high heat, placed in huge pressure cookers at temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit for up to an hour to destroy microorganisms that cause illness or spoilage. In the process of sterilization however, the heat also damages food flavor, texture, color and nutritional content. To make foods palatable again, many food companies use a lot of salt, artificial flavor, texture and color-enhancing additives.

The MATS system still uses heat for sterilization, but has a dual process of a pressurized hot water bath—delivering heat externally—and a patented microwave energy delivery system at a frequency of 915 MHz—heating the package internally—after which the package is rapidly cooled. With this system, temperatures are raised to microorganism-killing levels much more quickly, which shortens heating time and minimizes food damage. According to 915 Labs, a salmon dish processed with MATS retains 5.3 mg of omega 3s, where a retort processing method would only leave 0.3 mg.

Continue reading article at WholeFoods Magazine.