Researchers from the University of South Florida have demonstrated the potential to use CBD oil as an effective antimicrobial treatment to extend the shelf life of strawberries, which could lead to new commercial opportunities for using CBD oil to preserve and prolong the life of fresh produce.
The recent study, published in Postharvest Biology and Technology, looked at the effects of adding CBD oil to fresh strawberries, to see if it would make them last longer. The results showed that CBD was not only effective at extending the strawberries shelf-life, but that it also inhibited yeast and mold growth, and reduced microbial load.
The study examined the potential application of CBD oil as a postharvest treatment, to be used by consumers at home, to reduce microbial growth and extend the shelf life of strawberries. CBD oil was applied to fresh fruit after harvest followed by storage at 1 °C for 8 days and 10 °C for to 8 days.
Results from this study showed that CBD oil was effective at maintaining the visual appearance of strawberries, compared to the fruit that was not treated. It was also found that CBD oil was effective at reducing the microbial load on treated strawberries compared to fruit that was not treated.
Scientists have known for some time that CBD has antimicrobial properties, yet research is still limited when it comes to applying those properties in a practical way.
While the applications of the current research are quite limited – using CBD oil every time you purchase strawberries, or other fresh produce, might not be particularly appealing – the research does have interesting implications for the wider industry. With CBD producers looking for new applications the market for food preservation is possibly an extremely attractive commercial proposition.
Beyond strawberries, the potential to use CBD oil as a sprayed preservative on other fruits and vegetables could be appealing. With the right balance of application and formulation the industrial potentials for a new natural preservative are significant.
The food industry spends huge amounts in developing technologies and chemicals to help increase produce longevity and maintain that important shelf life as long as possible. The use of chemicals in this process has long been concerning for consumers, with many demanding new natural alternatives. CBD could potentially offer that alternative.
While more research will be required into this particular application, the anti-microbial properties of CBD is definitely an area that remains of considerable interest for the future.