Skip to Content

Amazon Is Reportedly Testing Military Tech For TV Dinners That Don’t Need Refrigerating

August 11, 2017

Want to stockpile vaguely fresh food but don't have space in the freezer? Well, Reuters reports that Amazon is currently assessing whether it can make use of a food preservation technique first developed for the U.S. military in order to sell you home-delivered food that doesn’t need to be kept cold. The appetizingly named “microwave assisted thermal sterilization” process (or MATS, to aficionados) plunges sealed packets of food into a water bath, zaps them with microwaves for a few minutes and—voila!—the food can be left on a shelf for up to a year. It’s claimed that the burst of heat lasts just a couple of minutes (whereas standard processing  can last up to an hour), leaving food with a taste and texture more akin to fresh food.

The technology was first developed over a decade ago out of Washington State University, and it's now being commercialized by a startup called 915 Labs. In fact, on its website you can take a look at some of the meals it's managed to preserve using the approach. The results certainly look far more appealing than conventional military rations. But are they the kinds of things that you want to shovel into your face while you sit on the couch on a Friday night? Guess that’s what Amazon is trying to work out.

Deep Dive


Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.