Engineers and food scientists from the University of Missouri have developed a durable coating that prevents the spread of foodborne germs on food processing surfaces.

The coating, which is composed of titanium dioxide, could potentially inactivate salmonella and E. coli — bacteria associated with foodborne illnesses — on food handling surfaces in the food processing industry.

Exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, oxygen and water, the titanium dioxide coating with its antimicrobial properties reportedly kills the bacteria on treated surfaces. The coating is applied in liquid form, eventually hardening into a ceramic-like material that is durable and mechanically resistant enough to withstand the wear and tear of the food processing industry.

The coating is detailed in the journal Materials Chemistry and Physics.

To contact the author of this article, email