Stout Prof Lengthens Life of Asparagus

Taylor Kuether

Thanks to UW-Stout assistant professor of technology and engineering Joongmin Shin, asparagus lovers everywhere can enjoy their favorite vegetable 75 percent longer. Shin and three colleagues from Michigan State University, where Shin earned his PhD, recently published a study finding that asparagus exposed to low doses of x-ray irradiation had less bacteria and maintained sugar levels, expanding the veggie’s shelf life. The x-ray treatment will also enhance consumer safety by decreasing the micro-organisms, Shin said. Before the experiment can be marketed, the taste of the irradiation-exposed asparagus has to be tested. However, the exposure to x-rays is considered safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration. No radioactive substances are used, so if you hoped your x-ray-treated asparagus stalks would provide you with bionic powers, you’re out of luck.