Spain: Patent a system that prolongs the life of processed foods

The Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) has patented a system that vaporizes food with natural agents and that, when combined with ultra-clean packaging techniques, can double or triple the shelf life of fish, meat, salads and fresh fruits minimally processed and ready to consume.

Sources from the UPCT indicated that the procedure has been developed by researchers from the research group in Cold Engineering and Food Safety, led by Antonio López.

By applying rosemary, thyme, orange or other essential oil vapors to food, which are natural agents of antimicrobial action, they inactivate pathogens such as Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella or Escherichia coli, which can cause infections and intestinal disorders, but also altering flora , such as bacteria, fungi and yeasts, which is what spoils the product.

The registered patent refers to the machinery necessary for its operation, which has been developed at the industrial level in collaboration with the Lorca company Tecselor, and the method of generation thereof, which can be applied to the food during packaging in modified atmosphere, mixing with gases when applied to the container.

The decontamination with vapors of essential oils is compatible with the packaging of organic products, demonstrating its effectiveness as an alternative to washing with chlorinated water, which can leave toxic residues.

With this machinery have been carried out a lot of trials of treatment with vapors of essential oils in different packaged foods, and has been proven to extend the shelf life of food, especially when this treatment is carried out in combination with the ultraclean packaging.

For these tests has been used the White Room of processed and ultra clean packaging that has the Department of Engineering of Foods and of the Agricultural Equipment of the UPCT.

The patented process, in the commercialization phase, has been developed thanks to a project of the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI).



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