Low-moisture foods, like cereals and flour, dried fruit and nuts, have been recalled repeatedly in the last few years, posing health risks to consumers and economic threats to businesses.
Bradley Marks, chair of the MSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, leads a team of economists, engineers, microbiologists, consumer educators and risk modelers in the five-year, $9.8 million grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. NIFA has designated the project as a Center of Excellence, meaning it has high merit value and meets criteria for broad impact.
Low-moisture foods are used as ingredients in a variety of products, so if one supplier faces a recall, numerous items could be affected. One recall or outbreak could put a small operation out of business.
E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria can’t be completely eliminated from dried fruits, nuts, flour and cereals. However… [continue reading]
In a breakthrough that can potentially help millions of consumers around the globe enjoy safer, tastier pre-packaged foods, a Washington State University scientist’s innovative microwave food safety technologies are being put into action by an Indian company, Tata SmartFoodz Ltd.
For more than two decades, Juming Tang, Regents Professor in WSU’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering, has led research into better ways to protect food from pathogens and spoilage using microwaves—pulses of electromagnetic energy, the familiar namesake of microwave ovens.
The technology could help eliminate the persistent safety recalls of frozen and chilled foods that happen globally every year.
“We’re working to spread new knowledge and technologies,” said Tang, “so that food companies of all sizes can produce high-quality, healthy prepackaged meals with longer shelf lives, free from pathogens and chemical preservatives.”