The product, sold commercially as FIT Fruit and Vegetable Wash, not only proved much more effective than the commonly used chlorine dioxide but is made from ingredients like citric acid and distilled grapefruit oil that are generally regarded as safe.
Chlorine dioxide, whose use in food plants can put workers at risk, was compromised by soils and plant debris in the washwater and killed only 90 percent of the target organisms in the food plant and followup laboratory studies. By contrast, FIT killed 99.9999 percent, according to associate professor of food science Dong-Hyun Kang of Washington State University. “If you had a million bacteria, you would have one left.”
The research—unusual because part of it was conducted under real-world conditions in an Idaho freshpack potato operation—will be published by the Journal of Food Science in August and is currently available at www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/jfds/0/0. University of Idaho Extension food scientist Jeff Kronenberg said the researchers chose potatoes for their study because their dirt-laden washwater poses the greatest challenge to products designed to control microbial contamination—not because of any food-safety threat potatoes pose. Indeed, Kronenberg said, “We have historically had zero problems with food-borne diseases in potatoes that are sold in grocery stores and restaurants because they’re cooked.”
Kronenberg believes FIT should be further investigated for fresh produce that has been associated with food-borne illness—including lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley and other leafy vegetables—where it is has the potential to save lives.
According to Kang, most food-processing firms cleanse their produce in flumes that operate as aquatic conveyor belts. “If a pathogen is introduced in the washwater, it will grow and continuously contaminate the new produce,” he said. With 15 years of experience, Kang has found it “very, very difficult” to control disease-causing organisms in flume water and said he “didn’t expect this kind of reduction. I’m really happy to see it.”
WSU research technologist Peter Gray agreed, noting that the bacteria were “knocked down below the detection limit almost instantaneously” in the FIT treatments.
Marlene Fritz | EurekAlert!
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17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
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