Longer-Lasting Bread: The average loaf of grocery story bread will start to go moldy in 10 days. But a U.S. company has devised a technique that it says can extend a loaf's freshness by up to 60 days.
The technique developed at Texas Tech University in Lubbock involves zapping the bread in a microwave array. The microwaves kill spores inside the bread that would normally develop into mold.
Food waste is a huge problem in the United States, where it's estimated the average family ends up tossing out about 40 percent of the food they buy. Bread is often one of the items that ends up in the garbage due to its short shelf life.
The new zapping technique could not only reduce that waste, the researchers say it could also help bread manufacturers use less preservatives. Currently many bread manufacturers add preservatives to their products to extend the bread's shelf life. They then add extra chemicals to mask the taste of the preservatives. By zapping the bread, it may be possible to avoid using preservatives altogether.
The technique can also be used to extend the freshness of other foods, including fresh turkey and many fruits and vegetables.