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Copper Nanoparticles Could Protect Food from Bacteria

Everybody longs to live in a world where food poisoning will no longer exist; a world where over there thousand deaths and over 130,000 hospitalizations would be eliminated each year at least in the US alone. Important to this concept actualizing is copper nanoparticles implanted in packaging food. Copper is an element long valued for its antibiotic properties and can be used to shield from bacteria which prowl everywhere including fresh foods, air filters to toilet sits. The brainchild behind this idea is none other than Jaroslaw Drelich, a professor of material science and engineering at the Michigan Technical University.

In preliminary tests on local water, copper killed 100% of E.coli bacteria present in the taster. It was also found that it succeeded in killing Straphylococcus aureus which is a common ataph bacterium. According to Drelich, it incorporated into food packaging materials, it could help in preventing a variety of food-borne diseases. Further, it could be used to treat drinking water, industrial affluent, even sewage.

As a new advancement on an established component, researchers have discovered how to embed nanoparticles of the red metal into vermiculite, an inert compound sometimes used in potting soil. Huge vermiculite mines currently exist in Brazil, China, South Africa and Russia. Due to its low cost, 25% at most, it would be an inexpensive, effective way to improve the safety of food supply especially vegetables and fruits. The inventors are working with other interested parties like Michigan Tech SmartZone to commercialize the product through his business, Micro Techno Solutions. Further, he plans to analyze the substance and ultimately license it to companies that pack fresh food.

With the understanding that microbe’s prowl all over including air filters to toilet seats, folding money and fresh food, this is one discovery that can save us millions of money each year that is often spent on treating infections related to food poisoning. Note that often times, these microbes are harmless to humans but sometimes they are not and this is seen as one of the best ways to curb such.

The copper compound is effectual against other pathogens besides bacteria and can work against viruses and fungi and other food poisoning bacteria such as salmonella and listeria particularly difficult to treat with antibiotics. Drelich strongly believes the nanoparticles could prove effective against the entire spectrum of food borne diseases that have affected humans for so long.

Keywords: nanomaterials,nanotechnology


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