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Fighting Norovirus with Cranberries

Maine cranberries

Cranberries have beneficial properties for our health, including kidney and urinary tract health.  New research has found another use for cranberries, to fight the foodborne illness Norovirus associated with fresh produce.

This preliminary study is a new treatment using cranberry juice and fruit extract to make an edible coating that is sprayed onto produce. When used along with a low dosage of gamma irradiation, or cold pasteurization, the study showed the coating eliminated contamination. Without the coating, the dosage of irradiation needed to kill norovirus is three kilograys. But with the cranberry coating, that dosage can be cut in half. This reduction can help preserve the quality properties of produce.

Norovirus is caused by person-to-person contact, touching contaminated surfaces, and consuming contaminated food or water.

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About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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