Consumers are increasingly looking for fresh, minimally processed ready-to-eat foods, for perceived health benefits and to support trends towards vegetarian diets. But these do not come without risks to food safety. Fresh produce will contribute to the burden of food poisoning, as well as spoilage and food wastage, unless steps to remove pathogens and reduce microbial numbers are taken.
Dr Kimon Karatzas from the University of Reading is partnering with AgriCoat Natureseal who specialise in shelf-life extension technology to trial a new technique which is less harsh than the current disinfection techniques that use chlorine. This will reduce the impact of microbes on food safety and waste, whilst maintaining the nutritional value and consumer acceptance of the qualities of these.