Food safety and longevity of still respiring fruit or vegetable pieces are enhanced reliant on a treatment process where the cut surfaces (preferably cleaned of cell debrit) are subjected to both UV light irradiation and heating so as, in concert, render the surfaces more sterile. The heating also has the effect of reducing ethylene production and at least depressing respiration. Such a process is preferably in addition to an anti-oxidant impregnation. The overall process in its preferred forms significantly extends the life and apparent freshness of, for example, apple slices when kept post treatment (eg; 25 days) over the temperature range of from 0 C to 8 C.
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