UV LED Refrigerator Light
By modifying a simple LED flashlight, replacing the white light LEDs with UV-A LEDs I'll test the effectiveness of light sterilization of bacteria, molds and fungi on refrigerated produce. This device will build upon research done by scientists at the USDA who reported that UV light disrupts the ability of microbes to reproduce on fruits and vegetables. The target market for this product will be purchasers of organic produce, often more susceptible to spoilage from bacterial action than chemically protected versions. It was reported that UV-B light in the 300-315nm wavelength can extend the shelf life of strawberries by up to a week. The project will determine whether there is a similar effect from timed exposure to 365nm, 385nm and 405nm UV-A arrays by placing an organic apple or other fruit under the light source within a vented container. A control sample without UV lighting will provide a comparison. Test will be done both inside and outside of refrigerated environments for additional comparison.