California Polytechnic State University has developed an anti-browning formula to prevent enzymatic browning that affects the aesthetic quality of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. The product also reduces the growth of aerobic bacteria, yeasts, and molds significantly. The multi-functional formula is an alternative to current anti-browning methods that focus solely on the appearance of food products. In addition, the formula is effective in ambient conditions – special packaging is not required.
The anti-browning formula extends the shelf-life of produce via a combination of calcium ascorbate, calcium propionate, and calcium chloride. The formula is the result of more than 400 tests and four years of research conducted by Wyatt Brown and his team in Cal Poly’s Horticulture & Crop Science Department in the College of College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.
The formula, when applied to pre-cut Granny Smith and Fuji apples, prevented browning and the growth of aerobic bacteria, yeasts, and molds for a minimum period of 21 days. It has also been shown to be highly effective at preventing the browning of other sliced fruits and vegetables.
In June 2015, Cal Poly was granted a U.S. patent for the anti-browning/antimicrobial composition (U.S. Patent Number 9,044,045). Cal Poly is actively seeking licensees to commercialize the formula.