Scientists use their loaf to invent way of keeping bread mould-free for two MONTHSMicrowave technology can kill the spores that lead to mouldAmerican company believes technology could end food wastage
Almost one-in-three loaves in the UK is thrown in the bin
01:03 GMT, 1 December 2012
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Going to waste: An American company says it has developed a technique to keep bread mould-free for two months. It uses microwave technology to kill mould-forming spores
With a third of bread bought by the British public ending up in the bin, one company has used its loaf…to develop a technique that keeps the mould away for two months.
Scientists claim to have developed a microwave technique which sterilises food without cooking, helping to extend its shelf-life and minimise the use of preservatives.
As well as keeping a loaf of bread fresh for 60 days, the method can be used to treat a range of foods including fresh turkey, herbs, fruit and vegetables.
The average British family dumps food worth 680 every year, creating a vast mountain of rotting waste.
A fifth of all food coming into the home is thrown away, mainly fruit, vegetables, dairy products and other perishables such as bread and meat.
The nation dumps 7.2million tons of food worth 12billion annually – enough to fill Wembley Stadium nine times.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says that 32 per cent of bread bought in Britain is thrown out. In normal conditions, bread can go mouldy in as little as a week.
But a method developed by American firm MicroZap could extend its shelf-life by weeks.
The technology uses pulsed microwaves to pasteurise food at low temperatures ‘without damaging or changing the quality’. A loaf of bread needs about ten seconds to treat.
The company says the method was first developed to treat salmonella in eggs, adding: ‘Bread was also used in the research, showing that it too could be treated and the moulding process could be slowed down significantly.
Even after a whole 60 days, the treated bread was compared to that of fresh bread in both quality and freshness.’
Unlike conventional microwave ovens, there are no hot and cold spots in the machines used in this process, according to the manufacturers. Chief executive Don Stull admitted it might be difficult to convince consumers of the benefits of long-life bread.
He said: ‘We’ll have to get some consumer acceptance of that. Most people do it by feel and if you still have that quality feel, they probably will accept it.’
VIDEO: Inside the MicroZap Technology:
Going to waste: According to Defra figures, nearly one-in-three loaves in the UK is thrown in the bin