Advanced Oxidation Process in Fresh Produce Processing: Reducing water usage, extending shelf-life and enhancing food safety

Fresh produce remains the leading cause of foodborne illness and highlighted for carrying pesticide residues. Moreover, fruit and vegetables have been highlighted as one of the leading sources of food waste, in addition to a major user of water. Currently, post-harvest washing is used as a step to remove field acquired contamination. However, both microbes and pesticides are not inactivated by washing but more distributed between batches. In addition, washed produce spoilers quicker than unwashed and the amount of water used in the process can be in the order of 4 liters per kg of product. The proposed project will overcome all these issues by developing a process that harnesses the oxidative power of chloride radicals (through a process termed Advanced Oxidation Process; AOP) to inactivate microbes and degrade pesticides while using minimal amounts of water. In a further process, the oxidative power from AOP will be applied to degrade pesticides and chlorine-consuming constituents in water. This is primary to make the washing process more effective and reduce the water usage by negating the need to keep replenishing wash tanks. Collectively both technologies will enhance the food safety of fresh produce and extend shelf-life.

Faculty Supervisor:

Keith Warriner;Ryan Prosser


Hongran Wang;Gustavo Bastos Machado


Pride Pak Ltd.


Environmental sciences



University of Guelph



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