Benefits of bulk aseptic packaging recognised

Wednesday, 20 June, 2007

Philip E Nelson, president of the Institute of Food Technologists in 2002 and food science professor at Purdue University, has been recognised as the 2007 recipient of the World Food Prize.

Nelson has been selected for the world's highest honour in food for his achievements in the development of bulk aseptic packaging and storage which allows highly perishable foods like fruits and vegetables to be distributed globally in a sterile environment without refrigeration and without significant loss of nutrients.

Dr Nelson's pioneering work has made it possible to produce ultra large-scale quantities of high quality food. The food can be stored for long periods of time and transported anywhere in the world without losing nutritional value or taste. This has proved to be a critical advancement in times of food crisis.

With the aid of aseptic food technology, potable water and emergency food aid was distributed to survivors of the 2004 tsunami in South-East Asia and to the US victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as to other crisis situations worldwide.

Nelson's innovative research led to the development of preserving and transporting perishable foods without refrigeration in carbon steel tanks ranging in size from delivery truck to ocean freighter. By coating tanks with epoxy resin and sterilising valves and filters, food can be stored and removed without introducing contaminants. As a result, enormous volumes of food are safely stored and shipped around the globe for final processing, packaging and distribution.

Nelson is the first food scientist and second IFT member to receive this highest honour.

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