Zapping Bread Waste?

Texas company MicroZap has found a way to redefine bread’s shelf life by keeping it mold-free for 60 days.

This isn’t done by using a freezer orĀ all-powerful preservatives, but rather by sending bread through a “sophisticated microwave array” resembling an assembly line.

While this solution feels a bit…unnatural, it’s similar to pasteurization of milk (which has its own critics and defenders). Yet, zapping our bread could mean a reduction in the amount of preservatives and the corresponding ingredients used to mask preservatives’ taste.

MicroZap has a lab at Texas Tech University and the school owns the technology. Widespread adoption of that technology remains uncertain, as it would require buy-in from bread producers and consumers alike. But it is interesting to imagine bread being about five times as shelf stable. Especially given that 38% of grain products aren’t used in North America.

In the end, I’d rather see us change our behavior to reduce food wastage instead of calling on technology to alter our food. Yet, the microwave solution–provided it is safe–could be a nice helper as we work on our behavior.

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