Jerry Twinam has created a patented process that preserves fresh peeled and cut potatoes for at least 35 days when the product is refrigerated.
Twinam, Ashland, Ky., said he is waiting for an opportunity to commercialize the process with potatoes and other items.
In 2006, Silliker Labs published a research report on the process developed by Twinam.
Called “Microbiology Stability of a Potato Product Challenged with Clostridium Botulinum, Listeria Monocytogenes and Lactic Acid Bacteria,” the report concluded the potato product treated with an antimicrobial solution and Twinam’s patented process had a shelf life of at least 35 days, and was stable against challenge with lactic acid bacteria, Listeria Monocytogenes and Clostridium Botulinum for at least 35 days stored at 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
By comparison, the Silliker report said untreated potato products had a microbiological shelf life of less than three days, and was stable against the challenge with lactic acid bacteria and Listeria monocytogenes for less than three days when stored at 38 to 40 degrees.
Twinam declined to divulge some steps of the process due to their proprietary nature.
Twinam said he received a grant from the state of Kentucky that helped provide the funds for the Silliker report. After that, Twinam said he has had limited volume experiments in local retail outlets with treated potatoes produced at a local college cooking school.
“We did some experiments around here at two local stores, and we sold them faster than we can cut them because the pricing,” he said. “My competition (other peeled and cut fresh potatoes) is usually about $2.15 to $2.60 for 16 to 20 ounces (pack) and mine comes into the stores at $1.49.”
“It is truly fresh so you open that package 35 days later and it is just like you filled them,” he said.
Twinam, 78, believes his patented process has the potential to save lives by preventing contamination and spoilage. He wants to negotiate with someone capable of commercializing the process he has spent nearly 20 years perfecting, he said. Twinam can be reached at (606) 324 9485.