US: Research shines light on organic fruit, food safety
Photo: The AutoMotovated Cyclist / Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Washington State University News: Scientists at Washington State University have shown that ultraviolet C (UVC) light is effective against foodborne pathogens on the surface of certain fruits. The study was published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology.
The findings are expected to be welcome news for organic fruit processors who seek alternatives to chemical sanitizers and must also comply with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act to help prevent food borne illnesses.
After learning from organic farmers and food processors about a lack of sanitizing options, WSU food safety specialist Shyam Sablani and his colleagues looked into alternatives and decided to explore UVC light. It has a shorter wavelength than ultraviolet A or B light.
“UVC radiation is present in sunlight; however, it is completely absorbed by the ozone layer and Earth’s atmosphere” Sablani explained. “It has germicidal properties and can be effective against bacteria, mold and viruses.”