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Copper nanoparticles could protect food from bacteria

Created by paustian on Jul 31, 2013, 10:06 PM

 

Microbial such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi exist in our everyday life, and many of them are harmless to us. However, some of them are toxic that we need to come up with approaches to eliminate them. Fortunately, researcher Jaroslaw Drelich from Michigan Technological University has recently found that copper can be used to treat such microbes. In this method nanoparticles of copper can be embed into vermiculite, which is an inert compound often used in potting soil. For preliminary examination, copper-vermiculite mixture was used to treat local lake water, and the result was positive-almost all of the E. coli in the water sample was killed. There are several reasons to explain why copper can be used as a antimicrobial: it is are cheap, and are easily mixed with other materials.

First, copper is a cost efficient material costing only about 25 cents per pound. Secondly, since copper can be mixed with materials such as cardboard and plastic, the targets of copper mixtures include a wide range of stuff. Furthermore, copper can also be used to treat drinking water and food such as vegetables and fruits, it extends the range of copper detoxification to food. Also, in public areas such as hospital, toilet, and restaurant where disease transmission occurs easily, a copper mixture can also be used as treatment on toilet seats, door knobs, and showerheads.

In conclusion, copper is an effective antimicrobial agent because it can kill most of the harmful bacteria, it is economically efficient, and it can be used for a wide range of targets because it can be easily combined to many materials. Drelich also mentioned that the development of such discovery is difficult to envision. There are way too many possibilities exist behind such discovery.