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article imageUV light keeps strawberries fresher for longer

By Tim Sandle     Jun 9, 2013 in Food
A new technique has been developed, aimed at keeping strawberries fresher for longer. The method uses a controlled 'pulse' of UV light, directed at the fruit.
Scientists have shown that low irradiance ultra-violet (UV) light directed at strawberries over long exposure periods at low temperature and very high humidity (typical of home refrigerator conditions) delays the spoilage of strawberries.
To do this, the scientists developed a special device. The novel device incorporates light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that emit UV at wavelengths which are the same as those found in the sunlight transmitted through Earth's atmosphere.
Various studies have shown that the UV treatment extended the shelf life of the berries twofold, that is nine days mold-free. To show that the berries were suitable for consumption, they were assessed for over darkened berries, as judged by weight, moisture content, concentration of select phytochemicals, visible damage, and mold growth.
According to the magazine New Scientist this technology could be extended to other fruits.
The UV light technique was developed between U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Components and Health Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., and Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) in Columbia, S.C. The research will be presented at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO: 2013), which is taking place on June 13, 2013 at the San Jose Convention Center.
More about Strawberries, Ultraviolet rings, uv light, Food spoilage, Mold
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