Microwave technology extends shelf life of organic tortillas

A published study previously showed the microwave technology increased the shelf life of bread. Now tests are showing MicroZap does the same for tortillas.

Organic, vegan tortillas were molding within two days when left at ambient temperature. When they received the MicroZap treatment, their shelf life extended to two weeks, said Don Stull, chief executive officer of MicroZap, Inc. When the flour tortillas were stored and sold out of a cooler, their shelf life extended to six weeks.

The MicroZap technology involves treating product inside a microwave chamber similar to an oven but one designed for pathogen reduction. The microwaves are the same as the ones used in homes and do not have cancer-causing irradiation since 2.45GHZ microwaves are defined scientifically as non-ionizing non-cancer causing.

A study involving researchers from Texas Tech University in Lubbock found the technology inhibited mold growth in white enriched bread without causing detrimental effects on the quality or sensory attributes. Shelf life of up to 60 days was achieved in the study, which appeared in the Journal of Food Science in 2008.

The Texas Tech University System licensed the original technology to MicroZap. Since then MicroZap has expanded the technology with its own patents, Mr. Stull said. MicroZap is looking for strategic partners for the technology. The company continues to develop different products and is under contract for commercial product trials, he said.