For centuries, silver has offered an alternative use as an antimicrobial, an agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms. PURE Bioscience’s Silver Dihydrogen Citrate (SDC) is ushering in a new era of effectiveness in killing germs on hard surfaces and opening a range of opportunities for which silver and its SDC-based products can be used. The technology is designed to slow the proliferation of foodborne illnesses from raw or contaminated foods.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC ), an estimated 48 million Americans get sick annually from foodborne illnesses, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and a staggering 3,000 deaths. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been looking for ways to combat these foodborne illnesses, enacting guidelines and regulations that every food processing and manufacturing plant must follow to help protect against spreading foodborne illnesses.
In 2014, the FDA will continue its race against a court mandated deadline, at which point they must have a framework of preventive controls regulations in place that strengthens a system that exposes Americans to an abundance of health risks as reflected in the CDC’s statistics. The implementation of SDC technology in food processing and manufacturing plants could help significantly reduce the numbers of foodborne illnesses.
Furthermore, a recent study found that bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics, which has scientists on the hunt looking for new ways to combat these antibiotic resistant organisms. Many scientists are looking to silver to combine with antibiotics, according to a recent Wall Street Journal  article. By taking a proven element, silver, to preserve the use of antibiotics, the food manufacturing and processing industry will take a big step forward in safeguarding consumers against contaminants found in raw food widespread through a vast distribution network leading to the millions of sicknesses and thousands of hospitalizations that occur annually.
SDC technology offers a solution for cleaning and disinfecting manufacturing and processing plants as well as commercial cooking spaces. The technology is able to completely disinfect surfaces and offers a faster pathogen killing option with a 24-hour residual kill window in a safe, non-toxic antimicrobial product.
SDC technology is an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral product, and is the first new antimicrobial molecule for food contact surfaces to be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency in more than 30 years. SDC offers disinfection efficacy without the requirement of rinsing the treated surface before food is allowed to contact the surface. It also offers residual kill on surfaces treated for up to 24 hours, and due to the nature of ionic silver and SDC’s multiple modes of action, SDC does not promote microbial resistance.
The financial cost that food manufacturers incur from foodborne illnesses is tremendous. According to a study  done by Ohio State University consumer science professor, Robert Scharff, “The basic cost-of-illness model includes economic estimates for medical costs, productivity losses, and illness-related death. “ Using this basic model, Scharff estimates the total annual cost is $51 billion.
By using SDC technology, food processors can meaningfully reduce the amount of foodborne illnesses that occur every day. By reducing the incidence of foodborne illnesses, the total annual costs incurred by industry will also drop significantly. This technology can help bring a wave of relief to the food manufacturing industry by helping to minimize foodborne illnesses and curtail potential financial losses while maximizing food safety and food quality.
Hank Lambert is the CEO of PURE Bioscience, Inc. owner of the patented SDC antimicrobial and has over 35 years of food industry experience, having worked at such notable companies as Heublein Inc.; RJ Reynolds; Nabisco, Inc.; and, Pinnacle Foods. He has also served on boards and as a member of various food industry associations, including the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), Institute of Food Technologists and Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere (SSAFE). Mr. Lambert served as general manager of the global food and water business of Underwriters Laboratories, where he was responsible for the start-up of the company's food safety services business. Mr. Lambert earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and his BA in Economics (with Honors) from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.
For centuries, silver has offered an alternative use as an antimicrobial, an agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Silver Dihydrogen Citrate (SDC) technology is designed to slow the proliferation of foodborne illnesses from raw or contaminated foods.