If successful, research could also lead to changes in processing conventional produce, she said.
The food industry is looking for label-friendly alternatives to traditional antimicrobials, she said.
“If you can say something is a cinnamon extract versus sodium benzoate, (consumers) know what cinnamon is,” Critzer said. “End game, we’re trying to find a couple of good solutions that fit the bill for organic growers.”
Researchers plan to consult with a group of organic produce growers at least every six months about the progress of their work, Critzer said.
Researchers will also share findings through Web seminars and other media, according to the release.
Other researchers on the project are:
- P. Michael Davidson, UT professor of food microbiology;
- David Lockwood, UTennessee professor and extension specialist in fruit and nut crops;
- Annette Wszelaki, UT assistant professor and commercial vegetable extension specialist;
- Jonathan Baros, NCSU farm and agribusiness management;
- Jeanine Davis, NCSU associate professor and extension specialist in organic crops;
- MaryAnne Drake, NCSUniversity professor in sensory analysis and flavor chemistry; and
- Diane Ducharme, GAPs program coordinator and extension associate in horticulture and food safety at NCSU.