Chiquita Brands International on Friday announced that it has developed a new solution for killing harmful microorganisms on leafy green produce. According to Chiquita, the new washing solution is more effective than chlorine and biodegrades more readily.
In laboratory testing by an outside party and Chiquita, the new FreshRinse wash is said to kill E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes at a significantly higher rate than chlorine washes. The product is also said to maintain color and flavor better, perhaps increasing bagged salads’ shelf life past the current norm of approximately two weeks.
Despite these claims, however, some food-safety experts are unconvinced of the new product’s effectiveness – they’re waiting to see further testing and the publication of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. (According to one prominent media source, Chiquita hasn’t yet submitted any articles for publication, but plans to by the end of the year.)
Chiquita is in the process of replacing its chlorine washes with the new FreshRinse wash, and is planning to allow others in the industry to license the product.