During the various stages of production, including harvesting, transportation, and storage, microorganisms and pathogens can contaminate fresh fruits and vegetables. This contamination generates important economic losses due to spoilage and reduced shelf life. In addition, contamination with pathogens such as Escherichia coli or Listeria can cause a significant risk to public health and lead to economic losses.
Traditional disinfection methods often involve rinsing with antimicrobial chlorine solutions. However, these solutions can leave behind by-products and harmful residues on the surface of produce, which can be carcinogenic and pose a health risk to consumers. Secondly, using chlorine or chlorine dioxide solutions in the wash water can be expensive. Finally, using hazardous chemical solutions can negatively impact the environment, as these dangerous chemicals can contribute to water pollution.
Fortunately, Ozone treatment for Fruit and Vegetable Disinfection is an excellent alternative. Ozone does not leave behind harmful residues and is more eco-friendly. Additionally, It is a cost-efficient and effective way to disinfect fruits and vegetables, making it a preferred option for many producers.
People often ask if ozone will work in their application. The answer is simple, Wherever a customer uses toxic chemicals such as chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, or bromide for vegetable washing, they can replace them with ozone.
Regulatory and safety issues
Various government agencies regulate fruits and vegetables to ensure their safety and quality. The regulatory and safety issues can include concerns around pesticide residues, microbial contamination, and foodborne illness outbreaks. Ensuring their safety and compliance with regulatory requirements is essential. Here are some regulatory and safety issues related to fruits and vegetables: The use of pesticides is regulated by government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, which sets limits on pesticide residues in foods. Also, the FDA has established regulations and guidelines for preventing microbial contamination, including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
The Benefits of Ozone Treatment in the Fresh Produce Sector.”
Ozone is listed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that ozone is considered safe for use in food applications following good manufacturing practices.
Ozone is an efficient, cost-effective, and ecologically friendly technique that does not leave a residue. Washing fresh fruit with ozonated water is the best way of disinfecting and preventing cross-contamination also is an effective way to remove pesticides and help reduce the amount of water required for washing, which can be significant cost savings for producers. Several studies have proved the efficacy and usefulness of ozone for Fruit & Vegetable Disinfection.
A simple system incorporating Absolute Ozone® generators is a cost-effective, safe, and environmentally friendly way to produce ozonized wash water. By incorporating ozone treatment into their processes, producers can help improve food safety, reduce waste, improve mold, and bacteriological kill, minimize product loss, and increase shelf life in the fresh produce sector.
OZONE: THE ALL-NATURAL SOLUTION
The versatility and effectiveness of ozone make it an ideal disinfectant for various applications. Here are some examples of the versatility of ozone:
- Fruit and vegetable disinfection: Ozonated water is a highly effective disinfectant that can be used to wash fruits and vegetables to eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It can also help remove pesticides and other contaminants, which can contribute to spoilage. Using ozonated water to disinfect fresh produce can help to extend its shelf life, reduce food waste, and enhance food safety.
- Produce storage: Ozonated water can also be used during storage and cold storage. By treating produce with ozonated water before storage, the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms can be inhibited, helping to prevent spoilage and extend the life of the produce.
- Food processing: Ozonated water can be used in food processing to disinfect equipment and surfaces. It is an effective and safe disinfectant that can help improve food safety and reduce spoilage and cross-contamination.
- Irrigation: Ozonated water can disinfect irrigation water, reducing the risk of contamination by harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This can help to maintain the health of crops and prevent foodborne illnesses.
- Packaging: Ozonated water can also be used to disinfect packaging materials, helping to reduce the risk of contamination during transportation and storage.
FACT ABOUT OZONE FOR FRUIT & VEGETABLE DISINFECTION
It is essential to know that the incorrect implementation of ozone technology is wasteful and ineffective at the same time.
- Ozone is not a cleaning agent. It is important for vegetable washing to remove all dirt from the product’s surfaces before ozone disinfection. Unremoved dirt will react with ozone, leaving almost no ozone for food/produce disinfection.
- Spraying should be done at the lowest pressures possible or replaced by dipping in ozonated wash water.
- Unfortunately, most of the generators today produce ozone at 3%wt. or lower does not allow them to dissolve more than 20-30% of ozone from the total produced in water. That introduces about 70% waste of money (a small ozone system that produces low ozone concentration could cost over USD 10,000 more than an effective one) and create a very ineffective ozone water treatment system. To avoid this issue, it’s important to choose an ozone generator manufacturer who can guarantee the performance and concentration of their product. This can help ensure that your ozone generator is effective and efficient in producing ozonated water for your application.
OUR KNOWLEDGEABLE AND HIGHLY EXPERIENCED ENGINEERING TEAM WILL HELP YOU WITH THE FOLLOWING:
- Selecting the Right Size Absolute Ozone® Ozone Generator for Your Ozone Fruit and Vegetable Disinfection
- Supply the oxygen concentrator or help choose the correct oxygen supply by ensuring you have suitable air preparation/feed gas.
- Supply all necessary accessories, such as online monitoring and control equipment.
- Help with a complete initial design, installation guidance, and process details with maximum profitability.
- Provide full technical support from expert application engineers every step of the way, before installation and throughout the years.
Contact us now. Absolute Ozone® will be happy to assist you with any of your questions.