November 4: A wider variety of ambient packaged foods could be possible in future following the approval by the US Food & Drug Administration of an alternative to the traditional canning process.

The process, which combines pressure cooking with microwave techniques, has been developed by Professor Juming Tang of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Washington State University.

While conventional retorting and sterilisation processes take up to an hour and often under pressure, the process developed by Prof Tang takes about four minutes.

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