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美国新技术可将面包保质期延至60天:英语新闻阅读文章

2012年12月03日  所属:双语新闻  来源:中国日报网英语点津  作者:Helen

美国一家公司研发出一种新技术,可以将面包的保质期延长至60天。

美国一家公司研发出一种新技术,可以将面包的保质期延长至60天。据悉,这种新技术是用一个复杂的微波阵列将面包中易导致发霉的孢子杀死,经过这样处理的面包保存60天也不会发霉,该技术也可用于蔬菜、水果等其它食物的保存。该公司表示,这一技术的推出可以明显减少各国的食物浪费,同时减少面包中各种添加剂的使用。不少面包生产厂商都对此技术产生兴趣,不过同时也担心将该技术用于生产可能会增加成本,降低利润空间;另外,也有人担忧顾客会否接纳这种保质期超长的面包。


An American company has developed a technique that it says can make bread stay mould-free for 60 days.
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 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.

Bread is a major culprit, with 32% of loaves purchased in the UK thrown out as waste when they could be eaten, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

One of the biggest threats to bread is mould. As loaves are usually wrapped in plastic, any water in the bread that evaporates from within is trapped and makes the surface moist. This provides excellent growing conditions for Rhizopus stolonifer, the fungus that leads to mould.

In normal conditions, bread will go mouldy in around 10 days.

But an American company called Microzap says it has developed a technique that will keep the bread mould free for two months.

At its laboratory on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, chief executive Don Stull showed off the long, metallic microwave device that resembles an industrial production line. Originally designed to kill bacteria such as MRSA and salmonella, the researchers discovered it could kill the mould spores in bread in around 10 seconds.

"We treated a slice of bread in the device, we then checked the mould that was in that bread over time against a control, " he explained.

"And at 60 days it had the same mould content as it had when it came out of the oven."

The machine the 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.

And there is also a concern that consumers might not take to bread that lasts for so long. Mr Stull acknowledges it might be difficult to convince some people of the benefits.

"We'll have to get some consumer acceptance of that," he said. "Most people do it by feel and if you still have that quality feel they probably will accept it. "

Mr Stull believes that the technology could impact bread in other ways. He said that bread manufacturers added lots of preservatives to try and fight mould, but then must add extra chemicals to mask the taste of the preservatives. If bakers were able to use the microwave technology, they would be able to avoid these additives.

While a wholesale change in the bread industry might be difficult to achieve, there may be more potential with other foods, including ground turkey.
 


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