The University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University will share a federal grant to improve the safety of organic produce.
UT Associate Professor Qixin Zhong says the project will seek safe, alternative, sustainable and effective treatments to reduce foodborne illnesses. Among the culprits are E. coli, listeria and salmonella contamination in produce.
Nearly $2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding will support the four-year program.
Researchers at UT and N.C. State hope the study leads to the effective use of naturally occurring substances such as organic essential oils that fight pathogens when added to water used to wash produce.