Fresh produces are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C which are naturally low in fat and calories. Because of multiple health benefits and availability consumption of fresh produces is in rise among world people. As the fresh-cut produce market continues to grow, the processors of such produce are faced with the challenge of processing an increasing variety and volume of products in a manner that ensures the safety of this produce. About hundred types of foodborne illness outbreaks are associated with the consumption of fresh produce. Processing fresh produce into fresh-cut products increases the risk of bacterial growth and contamination by breaking the natural exterior barrier of the produce. The processing of fresh produce without proper sanitation procedures in the processing environment increases the potential for contamination by pathogens.
Hence, the world demands an organic sanitizer in low cost which reduces all these risk factors imparting no harms but benefits to public health. In this regard marine shells powder form could be a potential antimicrobial which works best as food grade sanitizer when dissolved in water. The CaO (>93% by weight) from CaCO3 of marine shell powder (MSP) in solution can raise the water pH level to 11.5, and a simple wash of fresh produces with this highly alkaline water can reduce the surface microorganisms with higher extent in comparison with the water alone. Recent research findings show that, the calcinated MSP solution kills a broad range of Gram positive and Gram negative human pathogenic bacteria in association with pathogenic fungi. This novel antimicrobial solution wash does not impart any damage to the sensory qualities of fresh produces, being considered free from residual effects what come from H2O2 and chlorine based sanitizers.
Latest researches also report the effectiveness of calcinated MSP in ice to improve the shelf life and quality of fresh fishes for even two weeks by decreasing the rate of post harvest spoilage when the fishes are in transportation to distant market places. The ice melted high pH water inactivates the spoilage bacteria from fish flesh with higher extent in comparison with the normal ice. The 0.01% calcinated MSP in water can generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) leaving the water as transparent as it was without producing any odor and corrosive effects to human skin. The ROS and alkalinity of water are the combinatorial lethal outcome against pathogenic microorganisms associated with the surface of fresh produces and fresh fishes. The marine waste shells need to be calcinated at >1000 oC and powdered in µm particle size to get the active form in these regards. Utilization of the waste shells as food grade sanitizer could also be an excellent way out for managing the sea foods wastes produces off-odor and concentration of minerals in landfill when underutilized. Thus MSP is totally safe, biodegradable, eco-friendly, cheap with world wide availability which could be considered as a value added product for which the market is ready even the present days.