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SETi & USDA's UVB LED technology extends food life

Scientists have demonstrated an increased shelf life and improved nutritional quality of fresh produce with a new storage technology using ultraviolet aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) LEDs
In an exciting development, a combined team of scientists from Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) and the Food Components and Health Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have found a way to extend the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables stored in home refrigerators.

This 3-year program, which investigated the effects of light from certain types of UV LEDs, has led to more than double the shelf life of fresh produce, while retaining the nutritional quality and appearance.

The technology is currently being commercialised for the home appliance market.

Remis Gaska, President and CEO of SETi says, “Findings of this exciting program are expected to have a major impact on the appliance business to extend the shelf life and preserve nutritional value of the fresh produce. We look forward to the prospect of UV LEDs in residential refrigerators impacting on everyday life and reducing waste through spoilage.”

Steven Britz, Research Plant Physiologist, Agricultural Research Service of USDA adds, “We are exploring the possibility that the UV effect involves the induction of defence mechanisms in the fruit itself in addition to inhibition of mold growth, since evidence indicates parts of the UV spectrum retards decay.”

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