Copper Nanoparticles Could Prevent Food Borne Illness, Viruses

Michigan Tech SmartZone

Michigan Tech SmartZone

An innovation from Michigan Technological University has the potential to kill 100 percent of harmful microbes before they even touch produce. The secret is copper – an element long valued for its antibiotic properties.

Jaroslaw Drelich, a professor of materials science and engineering, is behind a new food protection method that relies on copper nanoparticles embedded in vermiculite – an inert compound found in mixtures such as potting soil.

“When you make a discovery like this, it’s hard to envision all the potential applications,” said Drelich.

Additional areas of application include drinking water, sewage and industrial effluent. “I’ve had inquiries from companies interested in purifying water,” he added.

Drelich is now working with Michigan Tech SmartZone to commercialize the nanoparticle material. He hopes to license it to food packing companies.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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