Blocking bacterial spoilage in fruits and veggies

Dr. Maria MarcoAs part of USDAs $19 million effort to ensure the availability of a safe, nutritious and economically competitive food supply a newly funded project led by Maria Marco, associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology. Marco and colleagues intend to identify the genetic basis of traits of lactic acid bacteria found on fruits and vegetables. These bacteria are important for preventing food spoilage and for producing fermented foods and beverages, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, chocolate, sourdough bread and table olives. 

The researchers expect their investigations will lead to fruits and vegetables with significantly better flavor, texture and nutritional quality. The USDA-NIFA grant for this project totals more than $498,000.