Most foods deteriorate over time, but bread's a major culprit, often going stale after just a couple of days. Now, though, a US research company claims to be able to make your loaf stay fresh for up to 60 whole days.

The secret? Um, a gigantic microwave. No, seriously. The company, called—wait for it—Microzap, has developed a long, metallic microwave device for the purpose. The concept was orignally developed to kill bacteria like salmonella, but the team put a slice of bread through the thing and noticed it didn't go stale. In fact, even after 60 days the bread "had the same mould content as it had when it came out of the oven." Nice!

Crucially, this microwave is a little fancier than the one in your kitchen. Don Stull from Microzap explained to the BBC:

"We introduce the microwave frequencies in different ways, through a slotted radiator. We get a basically homogeneous signal density in our chamber - in other words, we don't get the hot and cold spots you get in your home microwave."

Of course, it reamins to be seen whether consumers want bread that lasts for 60 days. There's something about the concept that seems a little unnerving—but what price a fresh sandwich? [BBC]

Image by Myriam M. J. Rondeau under Creative Commons license