IGEM:NIFA CAP Grant/2009/Notebook/Applied Nonthermal Technology Lab/Entry Base

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Applied Nonthermal Technology Lab

The epidemiology of foodborne diseases has evolved in recent decades as new pathogens have emerged, the food supply has grown more complex, and our relationship with food has changed. The global economy’s size and complexity, coupled with the rapid changes that have occurred in its organization, products, and workforce, provide a challenge to improving food safety and nutrition. Minimally processed foods have been the most impacted and include fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, and low water activity food, and other sources of high nutritional content Nonthermal processing has been the primary mechanism in which industry provides safe, high quality, nutrition foods to consumers. However, current technologies are limited due to expense and the range of applicable products. Waterless nonthermal technologies are emerging that have the potential for the sustainable decontamination of food. These technologies have the advantage of conserving water, limiting chemical residues, and can be applied at atmospheric pressures.

Project Goals

The goal of this study is to develop an integrated project among academia, government, industry partners, and stakeholders to develop effective, waterless, non-thermal processing technologies to provide consumers with safe, nutritious, and high-quality produce and LMF,. In order to seamlessly integrate novel processing technologies into industrial practices, we will facilitate the commercialization of these technologies by i) develop and optimize equipment and standard operating procedures, ii) provide a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis, and iii) encourage sustainable practices. In addition, we will help to ensure consumer acceptability of novel nonthermal technologies through dissemination of knowledge using education and outreach.