According to The Asahi Shimbun, a research institute in Japan has developed a machine that uses ultraviolet rays to protect mikan (mandarin orange) against rotting.
Researchers at the Saika Technological Institute Foundation, which produces food quality inspection equipment and devices, and other parties, including the Shizuoka prefectural government, discovered that ultraviolet ray application causes strong stress on the fruit and stimulates its self-defense function.
This leads to production of a sort of polyphenol known as scoparone that has antibacterial effects and stops the skin from decomposing.
Saika has developed and marketed equipment, measuring 1.5 meters long and weighing 140 kilograms, to prevent mold from forming during storage and transportation of mikan.
Mikan are rotated and carried on a conveyor belt in the machine for even exposure to ultraviolet rays for 20 to 25 seconds.
It can treat 700 kilograms of mikan per hour, and the antibacterial effect will continue for two to three weeks, according to the scientists.
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