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Ozone as Sanitizer in Food Processing

Ozone as sanitizer in food processing

Chlorine has traditionally been used in the food industry to control microbial growth on processing equipment and wash water. Fresh-cut produce is often treated with chlorine to extend its shelf life and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. However, chlorination may produce toxic and carcinogenic chlorinated organic compounds in water.

Ozone is a universal disinfectant that reacts with contaminants. It suppresses undesirable odors and destroys molds, bacteria, and viruses. The USDA and FDA have granted GRAS approval for ozone for direct contact with food products, including all meat and poultry products.

The mode of application may be selected based on the type of food and the need for ozone treatment. Ozone can be used in two main forms, the gas phase, and the aqueous phase.

ADVANTAGES OF OZONE FOR FOOD PROCESSING.

  • It is faster and more effective at killing microbes than chlorine.
  • Longer shelf life
  • Oxygen or air is all that is needed for its production, and it is generated onsite, so no storage is required.
  • Allow recycling process water
  • Water and energy efficiency
  • Ozone is suitable for food processing that follows organic standards.
  • It does not leave residues in food or water.

OZONE GENERATOR FOR FRUIT AND VEGETABLE WASHING

Fresh produce and minimally processed fresh-cut products are likely to contain microorganisms. In addition, fungicides, pesticides, and other chemicals used in farming can contaminate food. A simple washing is not sufficient to remove these chemicals. The industry needs to remove contamination to prolong the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables and make them safe for sale or further processing. Chlorine is the primary sanitizing agent used in fruit and vegetable washing. However, chloride produces residual by-products such as trihalomethanes. Also, it does not prevent the chemical from accumulating on surfaces. Thermal processing methods are used to inhibit pathogens. This technology, however, affects the quality of foods such as loss of original flavor, taste, appearance, color, nutritional quality, etc. Studies have shown that treatment with ozone extends the storage life of fresh commodities by reducing microbial populations and oxide chemicals. The interest in ozone has increased in recent years because of consumer demand for ‘greener’ food additives, regulatory approval, and a growing acceptance that ozone is an environmentally friendly technology. Ozone destroys microorganisms by the progressive oxidation of vital cellular ozonation. Ozone is 3000 times more effective than chlorine. Further, it is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

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