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Fortifying food

Two images of the nisin PLA polymer, outer surface (left) and cross-sectional (right) views. Nisin is evenly distributed, ensuring its slow but continuous release. Credit: Courtesy of Tony Jin" />Two images of the nisin PLA polymer, outer surface (left) and cross-sectional (right) views. Nisin is evenly distributed, ensuring its slow but continuous release. Credit: Courtesy of Tony Jin Food scientist Tony Jin's dissertation had something most don't: A picture of a Jack in the Box rest

The Scientist

<figcaption>Two images of the nisin PLA polymer, outer surface (left) and cross-sectional (right) views. Nisin is evenly distributed, ensuring its slow but continuous release. Credit: Courtesy of Tony Jin</figcaption>

Two images of the nisin PLA polymer, outer surface (left) and cross-sectional (right) views. Nisin is evenly distributed, ensuring its slow but continuous release. Credit: Courtesy of Tony Jin

Food scientist Tony Jin's dissertation had something most don't: A picture of a Jack in the Box restaurant. While completing his master's degree in food engineering at the University of Missouri in 1993, the restaurant chain had an outbreak of Escherichia coli. He chose his degree because he wanted to protect food from pathogens, and that outbreak sealed his fate, so to speak.

More than 20 years later, the food industry remains vulnerable. In October, Jin learned that meat processor Topps had issued one of the largest beef recalls ever (more than 20 million pounds) due to contamination by E. coli, forcing the largest supplier of frozen hamburgers to shut its doors. This recall occurred one year after contaminated...

 

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