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Bisin preservative discovered by U of M researchers can keep food fresh for years

Bisin could have preserved this decaying fish.

Bisin could have preserved this decaying fish.

Residents of developed countries waste roughly 220 lb. of food per person each year, much of it due to spoilage. But the work of U of M scientists could keep some foods fresh for years, just in case you want to save today's turkey sandwich for lunch in 2013.

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The Daily Mail talked to Dr. Dan O'Sullivan, a Professor of Food Science and Nutrition at the U of M, who discovered the substance, called bisin, by accident while studying bacteria found in the human intestine. O'Sullivan and his colleagues found that bisin occurs naturally and destroys the bacteria that make protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products decompose and prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria such as E-coli, salmonella, and listeria.

The scientists have patented the substance and are talking to food manufacturers about possible applications. They estimate that products containing bisin could become available as soon as three years.

Bisin will not prevent decomposition in fruits and vegetables, but it could extend the life of other items like wine and salad dressings.