update deskIsrael News

New Israeli research helps keep strawberries fresher for 15 days

Belal Abu Salha, a doctoral candidate in chemistry at Bar-Ilan University, began research on strawberries that his family grows in the Golan Heights.

Strawberries. Credit: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay.
Strawberries. Credit: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay.

Protesters have claimed watermelons as an anti-Israel symbol due to their colors resembling the Palestinian flag palette. Israeli researchers are making headway with a different red fruit: the strawberry.

Belal Abu Salha, a doctoral candidate in chemistry at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, and his adviser Aharon Gedanken, of the school’s chemistry department, developed a way to coat fruit and vegetables with “edible nanoparticles” that help preserve their freshness.

Abu Salha, who began his research on his family’s strawberry fields in the Golan Heights, found that he could keep strawberries fresher for up to 15 more days, according to a Bar-Ilan release.

He does so using a process called “sonication,” in which “ultra-sound energy in a liquid” is used to develop nano-coated particles of a natural substance called “chitosan.”

“Sonochemistry allows the chitosan particles to embed into the surface of the fruit and coat it quickly and efficiently, and the coating significantly decreases the damage to the fruit caused by fungi and bacteria,” Abu Salha stated.

Strawberries. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

“When you bombard a liquid solution with high-frequency sound waves, in a process called ultra-sonication, the solution swirls rapidly and masses of microscopic bubbles are formed that collapse into themselves,” Gedanken stated. “When the collapse occurs near a solid surface, like a strawberry or even a millimeter grain of material, liquid streams move to the surface of the solid at a very high speed and toss the particles from the solution onto the surface at enormous speeds.”

“The particles are embedded in the solid and cannot be removed, even by washing it. In this way it’s possible to assign a solid with properties it didn’t have in the first place—antibacterial properties or resistance properties, for example,” he added. “This is how antibacterial substances can be embedded in fruits and vegetables or any other material.”

In 2022, an Israeli farmer set a record for growing the world’s heaviest strawberry. This year, Israel is expecting a lower yield of strawberries.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates