UV Light Extends Strawberry Shelf Life

A research team from USDA discovers a way to prevent moldy strawberries

Strawberry lovers: those strawberries you just bought? They won’t spoil for another nine days thanks to low irradiance ultra-violet (UV) light. A research team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Components and Health Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., and Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. in Columbia, S.C., proved that UV light keeps strawberries fresh and unspoiled for at least nine days, according to Business Wire.

How? The researchers used a device with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), light sources that produce UV light at wavelengths equivalent to those found in sunlight. The team placed one batch of strawberries bought from a supermarket in a dark refrigerator and one batch in a refrigerator exposed to UV-LEDs. The UV-LEDS were targeted directly at strawberries for long periods at low temperature and very high humidity.

The results? The batch of strawberries exposed to UV-LEDS gained a mold-free shelf life of nine days. The UV-free batch was not so successful.

This device could be in your refrigerator soon, as the team is working to have it built into commercial refrigerators.

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