Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Rechargeable’ Anti-Microbial Surfaces Boost Food Safety

21.02.2011
Using nano-scale materials, a University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientist is developing a way to improve food safety by adding a thin anti-microbial layer to food-handling surfaces. Only tens of nanometers thick, it chemically “re-charges” its germ-killing powers every time it’s rinsed with common household bleach.

Food scientist Julie Goddard recently received a four-year, $488,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to lead the development of the new method for modifying polymer and stainless steel processing surfaces by adding a nano-scale layer of antimicrobial compound to gaskets, conveyor belts and work tables, for example.

As she explains, “This layer replenishes its anti-microbial qualities with each repeated bleach rinse. So at the end of the day in a meat-packing plant, for example, when employees clean their equipment, the regular bleach rinse will re-charge the surface’s anti-microbial activity. They will not need to add any more steps.” The chemical action comes from a halamine structure that holds chlorine in an applied layer only nanometers thick. The treatment does not affect the strength of tables or trays.

Food production is increasingly automated and as the number of surfaces contacted by food increases, there is greater potential for contamination. Goddard and colleagues’ new method will cost industry less than incorporating anti-microbials into an entire conveyor belt construction, for example. The technique is effective at the square-inch scale in the laboratory now, the food scientist adds, and a major goal will be to show that it can be effective at larger scales in commercial food processing.

Goddard, who did the preliminary work to show that this nanotech method is effective against organisms relevant to food safety and others relevant to food spoilage, such as E. coli and Listeria, says the technology is already being applied in hospital textiles whose anti-microbial properties are replenished each time they’re laundered in bleach.

“It’s not meant to replace thorough cleaning, which should always be in place, but it’s meant to add power to the process and a further layer of low-cost protection against contamination.” Goddard’s collaborators on this project include UMass Amherst food scientist Lynne McLandsborough and Joe Hotchkiss, director of the Michigan State University School of Packaging.

Julie Goddard | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.umass.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>