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Shedding Light on Food Safety

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BY: IFT Staff

Session 060
Monday, July 13; 10:00–11:30 a.m.
Room S402

Foodborne diseases from 31 major pathogenic microorganisms are estimated to cause approximately 9.4 million illnesses, 55,961 hospitalizations, and 1,351 deaths annually in the United States. Therefore, it is necessary to process foods to effectively inactivate these microorganisms and to render food safe. Various preservation technologies have been developed and adopted successfully to eliminate or reduce microbial contamination of the food. However, conventional treatments are very highly energy intensive with high capital and operational costs. Most often, these processes also result in deterioration of food quality.

Therefore, there is a need for alternative processing methods that are simple, cost-effective, have high inactivation efficiencies, and yield minimal quality changes. Emerging technologies such as UV light, pulsed light, and LED light processing show great promise since they can inactivate the pathogenic microorganisms while preserving the quality of foods.

This session will focus on recent advances in light-based technologies for microbial decontamination. There has been an increased interest in the applications of light-based technologies such as UV light, pulsed light, and LED light for inactivating microorganisms. Typically, these technologies operate in the UV, visible and near infrared light range. Studies have shown that these technologies can effectively inactivate myriad microorganisms. However, there are several challenges associated with these technologies. The presenters will shed light on the applications and challenges of these technologies.

Presented by: Kathiravan Krishnamurthy, Illinois Institute of Technology; Tatiana Koutchma, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Carmen Moraru, Cornell Univ.; Nathan Anderson, FDA

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