Australian anti-mould technology gets global boost

Murdoch University

Thursday, 23 March, 2017

An Australian researcher who has discovered a method for preventing mould from growing on fresh food will join a select group of innovators charged with improving global health outcomes through food.

Murdoch University plant disease researcher Dr Kirsty Bayliss has been named as a 2017 LAUNCH Food Innovator and will travel to San Francisco for an intensive global forum on food choices.

She will present her technology ‘Breaking the Mould’, a chemical-free treatment for fresh produce that increases shelf life, prevents moulds and decays, and reduces food wastage.

“Our technology will directly address the global food security challenge by reducing food waste and making more food available for more people,” Dr Bayliss said.

“The technology is based on the most abundant form of matter in the universe — plasma. Plasma kills the moulds that grow on fruit and vegetables, making fresh produce healthier for consumption and increasing shelf life.”

Dr Bayliss’s team have been working on preliminary trials for the past 18 months are now preparing to start scaling up trials, working with commercial production facilities.

Dr Bayliss said the LAUNCH Food Innovation Challenge was a huge opportunity: “I will be presenting our research to an audience comprising investors, company directors and CEOs, philanthropists and other influential people from organisations such as Fonterra, Walmart, The Gates Foundation, as well as USAID, DFAT and even Google Food! What is really exciting is the potential linkages and networks that I can develop; already NASA are interested in our work!”

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