Wornick Foods Launches Microwave Sterilization Initiative

Mar 09, 2011, 08:30 ET from Wornick Foods

CINCINNATI, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Wornick Foods, a leading manufacturer of convenience foods and customized meal solutions, announced it will undertake a new initiative to commercialize microwave assisted thermal sterilization technology (MATS). MATS is a newly developed, FDA approved process for sterilizing foods that can dramatically improve food quality over traditional food processing techniques.

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"Wornick Foods is uniquely equipped to support the commercialization of new food stabilization technologies," said Jon Geisler, president and CEO of Wornick Foods. "This initiative deploys the significant investment that we have already made in product development and engineering resources.  Our existing equipment assets and strategic focus on commercializing value added, flexibly packaged shelf stable foods is aligned well with the benefits of the MATS initiative."  

Wornick Foods joined the Washington State University Microwave Sterilization Consortium (Consortium) in 2010.  The Consortium, which includes a number of leading consumer product good companies such as Hormel Foods Corporation, LLC, Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Nestle, Frito-Lay North America and Bush Brothers & Company, together with the U.S. Army, Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NATICK).  The FDA approved the microwave sterilization process for a product developed by the Consortium in 2009.

NATICK provides essential services and development resources to maximize combat effectiveness of U.S. soldiers.  Wornick Foods has been a leading supplier of individual and group feeding rations to the U.S. military, supplying MREs to the U.S. military since the inception of the program in 1978. Wornick Foods has a rich history of innovation and service providing high quality food to the U.S. military and our co-manufacturing customers.

"Many leading consumer brands entrust Wornick Foods to co-manufacture their most popular products," added Geisler. "The capabilities, technology and team of experts that meet the high standards of these consumer product goods companies are being tapped to launch the commercialization of MATS."

Through full commercialization and refinement of the sterilization technology, some shelf stable food products will have significantly higher food quality than traditional sterilization methods such as the retort process used in most canning operations.  Wornick Foods has brought many innovations to the MREs provided to U.S. soldiers on the battlefield – providing new, better tasting meal options that are easier to use and more nutritious.

"With our focus on moving food forward, we have helped the U.S. military provide tastier, healthier food options to our troops," said Geisler. "We are confident that our continued efforts to deploy new technologies like MATS and continued focus on improving food quality will increase the market potential for the convenience driven products that we make."

About The Wornick Company

The Wornick Company is a leading supplier of convenience foods and military rations to institutional customers including the U.S. government and other large Consumer Product Goods companies. The company's shelf safe™ foods are co-manufactured under leading brands sold in retail and foodservice outlets throughout the United States. Wornick, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, was founded in 1979 and employs more than 500 people.

SOURCE Wornick Foods