Science: Long Life for Food

Somewhere between the farm and the home refrigerator, fresh fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are almost sure these days to get a scientific going over. Antiseptic washes, ultraviolet light, sulphur dust, gamma rays—the possibilities are almost endless, but the purpose is almost always the same: to stop decay caused by fungi and bacteria.

The trouble with all these treatments, says Food Biologist Karakian ("Kutty") Bedrosian, is that they fail to take account of the fact that the produce itself wants to die. "The problem today is not bacteria, but to control or inhibit the enzyme activity by which fresh food ripens...

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