Microbiologist develops improved technology for poultry food safety

Project Type: Research Only
Funds awarded in 2020: $148,874.00
Projected End Date: 11/30/2023
Grant Recipient: University of Connecticut
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
Project Leader:
Dr. Abhinav Upadhyay
University of Connecticut
In spring of 2020, Upadhyay received a $148,874 grant from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education to conduct a three-year collaborative study on the use of ultra-fine ozone bubbles as a novel antimicrobial wash against food pathogens on eggs and fresh produce. His team includes Assistant Extension Educator Shuresh Ghimire and Assistant Extension Educator Indu Upadhyaya, both in UConn Extension in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.

Ultra-fine bubbles are small, spherical, gas-filled cavities within liquids with a diameter of less than 100 nanometers. They have very peculiar characteristics (for example, high surface charge, high gas pressure, taut inflexible surfaces with high tension, increased surface area, prolonged survival in liquid) that can be used in many fields such as wastewater treatment, soil remediation and aquaculture. Many of these applications depend on the choice of gas for the bubbles. Ozone is an antimicrobial gas widely used for sterilization, deodorization and organic matter decomposition. It has a short half-life and readily decomposes to oxygen without leaving any harmful residues, which makes it ideal for food washing applications. Upadhyay is testing the efficacy of ultra-fine ozone (UFO) bubbles for food washing, a process that involves dipping produce in water containing UFO bubbles for five to ten minutes. The ozone poses no threat to either the applicator or end user as the ozone in water dissipates in about twenty minutes.
Abhinav Upadhyay, University of Connecticut
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Educators; Researchers; Consumers
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.