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Government and Politics

Cal Poly professor's anti-browning formula makes for longer shelf-life than similar products

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Flickr user: Emilian Robert Vicol
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A local professor and his team are waiting for companies to license their recently-patented product. It's an anti-browning formula that extends the shelf-life of sliced fruits and vegetables. 

After nearly five years of work, more than 400 tests and dozens of chemicals, Dr. Wyatt Brown and his lab technician Jim Green developed the formula. They looked at various types of sliced produce and eventually found what they believe to be the right formula to prevent browning for at least 21 days, longer than the leading available product.

Dr. Brown said he wanted to create a formula that would also control microbes.

"It's really good for controlling bacteria. It does a fairly good job...at controlling yeast and mold, but it certainly makes for a healthier product," said Dr. Brown. "Not only does it look good, but you're more assured you're not going to get sick from it."

He said it would mostly be used in processing plants that pre-slice foods like apples and tomatoes for larger restaurants, where workers do not slice foods, but assemble them.

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