- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ORONO, Maine (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding the University of Maine a $4.9 million grant to improve food processing technologies for products like grains, seeds and nuts.

The school is among 36 universities in the country to receive a total of $19 million in grants from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The school says its grant is a five-year award to enhance the safety of fresh produce and low-moisture foods.

Vivian Wu is a professor of microbiology and food safety in UMaine’s School of Food and Agriculture. She is also receiving a two-year, $150,000 grant to improve food safety through the use of magnetic resonance imaging to examine pathogens in plants. Wu is also getting $900,000 as part of the $4.9 million project.

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