Antonio (Tony) Mata is a meat scientist, product development specialist and self-proclaimed Meat Geek®. A native of Mexico, Mata studied at the University of Arizona where he earned his Ph.D. in agricultural biochemistry and nutrition. Mata’s first career was in Research and Development for national and global companies including The Dial Corporation, Armour and Company, International Multifood and Reuben Prepared Foods.
Dr. Mata led the R&D team that developed Lunch Buckets, the product that pioneered the successful shelf-stable microwave category. In 1986 this product was recognized nationally as the best new product of the year. For nearly two decades he lent his expertise to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in a variety of initiatives, including the Beef Value Cuts program, which resulted in the successful introduction of several new beef cuts.
In 1994 he started Mata & Associates, a meat science and innovation consultancy that has helped companies and trade associations like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Applebee’s International, Darden International, and Quantum Foods drive innovation and profitability. He has managed technical work and implemented programs that resulted in tens of millions of dollars in annualized savings. Mata and his team of “meat geeks” provide technical services for restaurant chains, retailers, processors and packers in the United States as well as in Central and South America.