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Blue LED Light Could Be Effective Chemical-Free Preservative

posted: 08/07/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
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Blue LED light has an antibacterial effect on several foodborne pathogens, new research shows, leading researchers to believe that blue light could be used as a chemical-free method to preserve food.

Two studies conducted at the National University of Singapore investigated light-sensitive compounds found in Listera, E. coli and salmonella cells. Exposure to blue LED light was shown to "start off a process within the cells that ultimately causes the cells to die." Chilled, acidic conditions were especially detrimental to bacterium in a laboratory setting.

"This could meet the increasing demand for natural or minimally-processed foods without relying on chemicals such as acidulants and artificial preservatives to preserve food products," study lead author Yuk Hyun-Gyun said in a news release.

"The next step for us is to apply this LED technology to real food samples such as fresh-cut fruits, as well as ready-to-eat or raw sea foods and meats products, to investigate whether LED illumination can effectively kill pathogenic bacteria without deterioration of food products," Yuk added.

Yuk's research is published in the June 2015 issue of the journal Food Microbiology.

Click here for more information from the National University of Singapore

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