Light Wash

Here’s a bright idea for washing your veggies!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

You’ve heard how UV light could kill germs! Hospitals use this ALL THE TIME. But having to leave the light on constantly… Imagine the bill! What if you could clean it all with the flick of a switch?

Enter Joshua Cassar and team from the US Department of Animal Science. Researchers applied PULSES of UV light to different diseases commonly found on food. Like E. coli and Salmonella. The pulses were quick – three per second! The researchers tried various numbers of pulses. Then, they counted how many pulses it took to successfully kill the diseases. 

Results? Most diseases were eliminated in five seconds after FIFTEEN pulses. ZAAAP!

UV light pulses are a quick way of sanitizing. The researchers believe we could use this at home too! Think disease-free veggies and meat in just five seconds. 

This gives a whole new meaning to a LIGHT wash!

Reference: Cassar, J. R., Mills, E. W., & Demirci, A. (2022). Characterization of pulsed light for microbial inactivation. Journal of Food Engineering, 334, 111152.