“We chose to market the product before submitting research for publication in any peer-reviewed journals because anything that advances food safety, we believe, we need to leverage that for our consumers as soon as possible,” he said.
Chiquita officials said it scientifically validated commercial application for five months under salad manufacturing conditions including in cold water with dwell times typical of an actual processing plant.
Fresh Rinse was developed over several years by Fresh Express principal scientist Dr. Kai-Lai Grace Ho with support from other company divisions.
Project advisor Michael Osterholm, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, said FreshRinse should be considered one of the leading tools to attack pathogens leading to foodborne illness.
“This is something that can be applied to the industry setting immediately,” he said. “It’s in the market and is immediately available. It’s a way to bring improvement for all of produce food safety.”
Other Fresh Express and Chiquita project advisors included David Acheson, managing director of food and import safety for Leavitt Partners and former Food and Drug Administration associate commissioner for food protection, and Robert Buchanan, director and professor, University of Maryland Center for Food Safety & Security Systems.
Chiquita plans to launch an initiative to educate consumers about FreshRinse early next year.
Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier contributed to this report.