Help discover new ways to preserve ripeness when harvesting produce
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Time, effort, and advanced technology all make sure that the fruits and vegetables we eat are properly cleaned at the time of harvesting. There is ongoing research to explore new and creative ways to preserve freshness and kill pathogens immediately after produce is picked and shipped to its next destination.

Furthermore, “freshness” is often measured by the preservation of color (greens stay green, etc.) and the level of harmful pathogens; measured in log reduction. Traditional methods of reducing the micro load on produce include pasteurization, heat treatment, irradiation, chlorine wash, water wash, and ozone.


Describe an alternative technology or process that happens immediately after picking that would best preserve the ripeness of produce. Be sure to specify:

1) The technology needed to implement your idea

2) How it differs from existing methods, and why you feel your idea is superior

3) Attach an artistic rendering (sketch, mockup, design, etc.) showing how your method would work


1) If your solution incorporates traditional methods, please avoid heat treatments, as this often deteriorates the look of freshness (discoloration, withering)

2) The hosting company requires your solution to produce a 5 Log reduction in pathogen level. This equates to 100,000x less pathogens.

3) Safety and natural methods are emphasized by the challenge host, so please avoid unnatural processes in your solutions (radiation & ethylene oxide). Natural ingredients like salt or citric acid are acceptable.

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
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