dryriver writes: The BBC reports: '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 other 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 $165bn (£102bn) annually. The machine the Microzap team has built uses much the same technology as found in commercial microwaves — but with some important differences, according to Mr Stull: "We introduce the microwave frequencies in different ways, through a slotted radiator. We get a basically homogeneous signal density in our chamber — in other words, we don't get the hot and cold spots you get in your home microwave." The company's device has attracted plenty of interest from bread manufacturers — but it is worried that it could push up costs in an industry where margins are very tight. The biggest advantage of using Microzap's technology is that bread treated with it stays fresh for a long time, without any preservatives having to be added to the bread, as well as other chemicals typically introduced to mask the taste of the preservatives used.'
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