Kirsty Bayliss: Breaking The Mould

Breaking the Mould

Breaking the Mould is a plasma-based treatment that extends the life of fresh produce by delaying mold growth.


Moulds and decays on fresh fruit and vegetables are caused by ubiquitous fungi that grow quickly when conditions are favourable. These moulds can also produce mycotoxins, which cause serious human health issues. Mould produce is downgraded or discarded, contributing to average annual worldwide food losses of 30%.


This innovation provides a chemical-free solution to prevent molds occurring, using the most abundant form of matter in the universe: plasma. Plasma kills the molds that grow on fruit and vegetables, making fresh produce healthier for consumption and increasing shelf-life. This plasma technology will directly address the global food security challenge by making more food available for more people.


Our innovative use of plasma to treat fresh produce will decrease the amount of food being lost or wasted, meaning more people will have access to food, world-wide. Our approach will beneficially address both the supply and demand of fresh produce. Treatment with plasma kills molds, as well as bacteria and viruses, from fresh fruit and vegetables. These pathogens directly impact the supply of fresh produce, and removing them will enable distributors to have more produce available for longer. In food insecure regions, this will mean less strain on the food supply, as people will not need to purchase additional food to replace decaying produce.