- By Charlie Browning
- Published 01/16/2013
Bread is obviously brilliant, but without freezing it doesn’t tend to last very long. The average loaf of grocery story bread will start to go moldy in 10 days. But an American company has devised a technique that it says can make your loaf stay fresh for up to 60 days.
The technique, developed at a Texas University, involves zapping the bread in a special microwave – the microwaves then kill spores inside the bread that would normally develop into mold and cause you another trip to the shop when you’ve just got in from work and have put the kettle on.
Food waste is a huge problem in the United States, where it’s estimated the average family ends up throwing out about 40 percent of the food they buy. Bread is often one of the items that ends up in the rubbish bin due to its short shelf life.
But the new zapping technique could not only reduce that waste, the researchers say it could also help bread manufacturers use less preservatives. Currently many bread manufacturers add preservatives to their products to extend the bread’s shelf life. They then add extra chemicals to mask the taste of the preservatives. By zapping the bread, it may be possible to avoid using preservatives altogether.
The machine the team has built uses much the same technology as found in commercial microwaves – but with some important differences, according to Mr Stull.
“We introduce the microwave frequencies in different ways, through a slotted radiator. We get a basically homogeneous signal density in our chamber – in other words, we don’t get the hot and cold spots you get in your home microwave.”
The technique can also be used to extend the freshness of other foods, including fresh turkey and many fruits and vegetables.
About the Author : Charlie Browning is writing about Bread