January 08, 2013

It's a Wonder this Bread is Still Edible


Ever gone to make a totally delish sandwich only to open the bread and notice mold all over it? Well, I have, and let me tell you for someone who was thinking about that bologna sandwich for hours only to realize I would have to settle for some soup, I wasn’t very happy. Luckily, a Texas-based company is kicking up its heels and bringing bread back to life via a new technological innovation that is allegedly able to keep it fresh and mold-free for up to 60 days.

Pretty impressive indeed, that is if it works of course. According to Chief Executive Officer of MicroZap Inc. Don Stull, it basically involves sending microwave waves to the bread for about 10 seconds, which then ends the life of those annoying and even more disgusting mold spores. Although this will no doubt benefit the public – as food prices are soaring and nothing can be wasted nowadays – it will “slice out” to be highly advantageous for bread bakers who no longer need to utilize preservatives to keep the bread mold-free or ingredients to then cover up the preservative flavor. In addition, bread’s shelf life can be lengthened significantly.

"It could help us provide an abundant food source for those in need," said Mindy Brashear, director of the Lubbock University's Center for Food Industry Excellence, in a statement. The prospect of helping people in developing countries is what motivated the microbiology professor to help develop the technology over the last eight years.

Image via Shutterstock

A research group at Texas Tech University released findings that show after 60 days, the treated bread that stayed within the package had the same mold content when compared to a loaf hot out of the oven.

For those of you out there worried about the effects radiation being powered to the bread could reap on your health in the long run, don’t be. The reason why is because no gamma rays are used. Instead, “the microwaves used in the university lab are the same frequency as commercial units but delivered in an array that gets a homogeneous signal to the bread, eliminating the hot and cold spots common when heating food in kitchen microwaves,” a recent article revealed.

While this solution was created in order to get rid of MRSA once and for all, a bacterial infection that is extremely painful, during testing researchers realized it helps to drive the freshness of food without injecting anything that could harm the individual eating it.

“I think the consumers are going to drive this more than companies," Stull added.

Technology is continuing to alter the way in which food grows and even how it tastes. In fact, IBM has unveiled some troubling statistics that show nearly ten million people die of hunger and hunger-related diseases each year, yet consumers are demanding more information about the items they are putting into their mouth. That is why the technology giant is working hard to continuously improve its track and trace technology which assists the company in easily keeping close tabs on food from when it is harvested all the way to when it arrives on consumers’ plates.  

The company even teamed with the Canadian Province of Manitoba in order to help the location leverage its traceability solution that worked in conjunction with over 16 supply chain partners, animal feed ingredient producers, feed manufacturers, farmers, processing plants, truckers and a retail grocery chain, company officials state on the website.




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo



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