Navigation Links
Keeping soft fruit 'fur-free' for longer

Now scientists at Nottingham have joined forces with colleagues at Loughborough University and UK fruit growers Berryworld to use cold plasma technology to keep the mould at bay for longer.

Cold plasma is already used in the medical world to clean bacteria from wounds safely. It was a chance discovery that led the team of food scientists and microbiologists to believe that cold plasma might also be useful in the food sector. They had previously been using the technology, which involves a tiny controllable beam of plasma, similar to lightning, to control micro-organisms and to sterilise surfaces.

Associate Professor in Microbiology at The University of Nottingham, Dr Cath Rees said: "While we were doing that we discovered that we could treat soft fruit with the plasma beam. Soft fruit is notoriously difficult to keep 'fur free' for long, as it bruises easily when handled and becomes contaminated. The cold plasma technology would present a way of eradicating moulds early in the packing process.

"Our findings showed that we could prevent that perennial problem of fruit going mouldy once you get it home. This means better value for the customers and fewer losses for the producers, who normally remove the mouldy ones before the fruit is sold."

The researchers in the Division of Food Sciences in the School of Biosciences at the University's Sutton Bonington campus are working with the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Loughborough University to see how effective the technique could be. Early results suggest the cold plasma treatment gives the produce an extra five days of shelf-life. It could have a significant impact on the economics of soft fruit production.

The project is one of five Collaborative Research and Development grants worth a total of more than 235,000 announced by the East Midlands Food and Drink iNet, which co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the region. The iNet is funded by the East Midlands Development Agecy (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund.

Food and Drink iNet Director Richard Worrall said: "We are pleased to be able to support this innovative research project which has important potential for the soft fruit sector. Discovering a non-destructive, non-contact and non-residue leaving process that helps extend the shelf-life of soft fruit and prevent wastage could bring major benefits.

"Our Food and Drink iNet Collaborative Research and Development funding is designed to provide help for innovative research schemes that will benefit the food and drink sector in the future, and we are proud to be associated with this project."


Contact: Emma Rayner
University of Nottingham

Related biology news :

1. 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit ideal temperature for keeping fungi away and food at bay
2. Keeping a watch on the world
3. Preventing heart problems while keeping a cool head
4. Keeping an ear out for kin
5. Keeping the weight off after a very low-energy diet
6. Time-keeping brain neurons discovered
7. Eating right, not supplements, is best at keeping your good bacteria healthy, dietitian says
8. Keeping DNA all in the family
9. Study: Young Arctic muskoxen better at keeping warm than scientists thought
10. Study on keeping nuclear bombs from US ports shows misplaced fear over cargo scanning cost
11. Keeping golf courses green when fresh water is limited
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until 19 th ... from 17 th until 19 th November 2015.   ... the first combined scanner in the world which scans both ... two different scanners were required: one for passports and one ... same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution for electronic ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed ... dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating ... the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the ... . Cell, pinpoints a protective ... the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... 2015 About signature verification ... to identify and verify the identity of an ... the secure and accurate method of authentication and ... individual because each individual,s signature is highly unique. ... dynamic signature of an individual is compared and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific ... contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of ... in lower margins but higher volume share for ... capacity and scale, however, margins in the CRO ... Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), finds ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential ... bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million ... (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PHILADELPIA, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... young entrepreneurs at competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ... student projects from each state are competing for votes to win the title of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
Breaking Biology Technology: