Dec 5, 2023

Lightning sparks scientists’ design of ultraviolet-C device for food sanitization

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a portable, self-powered ultraviolet-C device called the Tribo-sanitizer that can inactivate two of the bacteria responsible for many foodborne illnesses and deaths.

The Tribo-sanitizer’s UVC lamp is powered using the —electricity that is generated when two dissimilar materials come into contact. In tests, the Tribo-sanitizer successfully inactivated two potentially deadly foodborne bacteria, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes, mainly by damaging their DNA, according to findings published in the journal Nano Energy.

The bacteria selected as testing targets are two of the most common causes of serious foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. Escherichia coli produces toxins that can cause severe abdominal cramps, fever, bloody diarrhea, and kidney failure, and Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which has the highest rates of hospitalization and mortality of any foodborne illness.

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