According to a report recently published by the World Health Organization, people should consume a minimum of 400 grams of fruits and vegetables every day to mitigate nutritional deficiencies and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. However, to achieve a healthy intake of these foods it is also important to properly clean them before consuming them to remove bacteria and pesticide residues from them, as their presence could disturb long-term hormonal functioning.
"We developed, together with the national SME PAMPA TRADE SA, a novel fruit and vegetable cleaner that reduces 99% of bacteria (such as listeria, escherichia coli, and salmonella) and pesticides, such as organochlorines or carbamates," stated Erica Stacey, the sub-chef of Food Technology at INTI (Argentina). The cleaner comes in a sprayer and must be rinsed off the food before consumption.
Another advantage of the cleaner is that it would allow to increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by at least 50 percent. In addition, it is biodegradable, which makes it friendly to the environment.
"The novelty of this work is its transfer model, which allows a national SME to access a development that has a low economic risk and good sales projection associated with the importance of this type of innovation," stated Javier Ibañez, president of INTI. The product will bear the legend "developed and formulated in INTI", which will make the Institute's presence visible in daily life products.
"The next step is producing this cleaner at the industrial level and also for households. We already have contacted supermarket chains, which showed interest in marketing it," stated Hector Guardia, the president of PAMPA TRADE SA.