SureBeam, the US-based creator of the electron beam technology for food safety, has announced the opening of its new southern California food processing centre, located in greater Los Angeles.
The facility brings the total national food processing capacity to one billion pounds per year for the San Diego-based food safety technology company.
"The opening of SureBeam's state-of-the-art, national service centre gives food processors a greater opportunity to provide consumers with safer, fresher and more healthful foods," said Larry Oberkfell, SureBeam's chairman, psresident and CEO. "As a strategic national hub in domestic food production and processing, this facility will also give our customers greater flexibility in getting their products to market."
This newest service centre features simultaneous processing with both SureBeam electron beam and x-ray technology and has an annual capacity in excess of 300 million pounds. The centre will be used to process meat, fresh and frozen food products, and spices.
California is the largest food processing state in the US, producing more than $26 billion (€26.8bn) worth of food products per year, with Los Angeles ranking second in the nation for meat processing and packaging and first in fruit and vegetable processing.
Similar to a microwave oven, the SureBeam technology uses ordinary electricity as its energy source to irradiate and help eliminate harmful bacteria - such as e.coli, listeria, campylobacter and salmonella - thereby enhancing a food's quality and extending its shelf life without comprising its taste, texture or nutritional value, claims the company.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, food borne diseases strike 76 million Americans annually, leading to more than 5,000 deaths - predominately among children, the elderly, the unborn, and immuno-compromised people. These most vulnerable groups comprise nearly one quarter of the population according to the FDA.
SureBeam's technology is designed to help decrease the incidence of food borne illnesses and to improve quality. SureBeam claims that it does for food what milk pasteurisation does for milk: helps to stop the spread of food borne disease.
SureBeam operates processing centers in Sioux City, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California. Its technology is also used for bio- security in Hawaii on exotic tropical fruits processed in Hilo, Hawaii.