Bread lasting 60 days to cut food waste – brains might help, too

An American company has developed a technique that it says can make bread stay mould-free for 60 days. The bread is zapped in a sophisticated microwave array which kills the spores that cause the problem.

The company claims it could significantly reduce the amount of wasted bread – in the UK alone, almost a third of loaves purchased.

The technique can also be used with a wide range of foods including fresh turkey and many fruits and vegetables.

Food waste is a massive problem in most developed countries. In the US, figures released this year suggest that the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase – which adds up to $165 billion annually.

Bread is a major culprit, with 32% of loaves purchased in the UK thrown out as waste when they could be eaten, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs…

In normal conditions, bread will go mouldy in around 10 days. But an American company called Microzap says it has developed a technique that will keep the bread mould free for two months.

At its laboratory on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, chief executive Don Stull showed off the long, metallic microwave device…Originally designed to kill bacteria such as MRSA and salmonella, the researchers discovered it could kill the mould spores in bread in around 10 seconds.

“We treated a slice of bread in the device, we then checked the mould that was in that bread over time against a control, ” he explained. “And at 60 days it had the same mould content as it had when it came out of the oven…”

…There is also a concern that consumers might not take to bread that lasts for so long. Mr Stull acknowledges it might be difficult to convince some people of the benefits.

NSS! If it wasn’t a concern – we’d already be using less-expensive gamma radiation to produce the same result. My friends in the organic wing of the foodie religion are thoroughly capable of crapping their jeans over any scientific method of destroying harmful critters in our food.

It doesn’t matter how many tests demonstrate no residue left behind from any sort of radiation used to sterilize a food product. They will remain convinced that little atomic rays are still whizzing about inside the bread crust ready to turn us into green mutants with vestigial gill covers. Lazy-ass journalists and editors will slop their fears out into the general public because, after all, tales of panic are profitable.

Not wasting food might be worth considering, as well. Naw. That’s probably unAmerican.

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3 comments

  1. Michelle Meaders

    What’s hard about freezing it until you start the loaf, then using it within the 10 days? Or not buying it until you needed it? They say there is no residue from the treatment. So a loaf treated this way would soon be re-contaminated once you started using it. Between your hands and the usual airborne flora of molds, yeasts, and bacteria, there’s a lot out there.

    • eideard

      If you can’t finish a loaf of bread within 10 days, you need to eat more bread yourself, share it with more people [not a bad idea on it's own], buy or bake smaller loaves of bread.

      I buy a loaf of bread on our weekly trip to town for groceries – always something I might not bake myself. I bake a smallish loaf early in the week. Anything leftover feeds the birds.

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