Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Nanoparticles of purified powdered zinc oxide could be used against pathogens

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Nanoparticles of purified powdered zinc oxide could be used against pathogens
Research suggests that using nanoparticles of powdered ZnO bound within plastic film could improve the protection of fresh produce.
In Development – Ongoing research and development work.

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction, Shelf life extension

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Plastic – Flexible, Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Flexible & Films, Other

Supply Chain Phase
Raw materials / Ingredients, Storage

Details

Outbreaks of food borne pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Listeria continue to draw public attention to food safety. There is a need to develop new antimicrobials to ensure food safety and extend shelf-life.
 
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is one of five zinc compounds that are currently listed as generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Zinc salt has been used for the treatment of zinc deficiency in diets. However, the antimicrobial function of ZnO in foods has not been explored. In the present study, ZnO nanoparticles in the forms of ZnO powder, ZnO film and polyvinylprolidone capped ZnO (ZnO-PVP) were prepared and their antimicrobial activities in culture media and liquid foods were investigated. ZnO nanoparticles possess strong antimicrobial activities against Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Enteritidis and E. coli O157:H7 in culture media or liquid egg. Our results from this study demonstrated that the application of ZnO nanoparticles in food safety is promising.

Potential Benefits

The potential environmental benefits of this technology are reduce wastage of fresh produce.

Intellectual Property

The research work is published in the Journal of Food Science:
Jin, Z.T., Zhang, H.Q., Sun, D., Su, J.Y., Sue, H. 2009. Antimicrobial Efficacy of Zinc Oxide Quantum Dots Against Listeria Monocytogenes, Salmonella Enteritidis and Escherichia coli O157:H7.  Journal of Food Science. 74(1):M46-M52January 12, 2009 

Consultant View

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is one of five zinc compounds that are currently listed as generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but there are always consumer perceptions and concerns to consider when nanotechnology solutions are concerned.

Contacts and Further Information

Research author:
Zhonglin T Jin (Tony Jin) Research Food Technologist
Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology
Room 3028
600 EAST MERMAID LANE
ERRC
WYNDMOOR, PA, 19038-8598 
Tel: (215) 836-6904
 

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