As oxidant ozone has numerous potential applications in the food industry because of its advantages over traditional food preservation techniques and superior antimicrobial properties. Ozone can kill bacteria, mold, yeasts, protozoan cysts, and viruses within a short period at low concentrations. Besides inactivating contaminant microflora on food, ozone also reduces pesticide levels. As well, its rapid decomposition to oxygen and lack of toxic residues makes ozone an environmentally friendly sanitizer.
Advantages of ozone for food processing
Ozone is increasingly being used in the food industry since the FDA granted ozone “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) status. In comparison to other disinfectants, especially chlorine, ozone is an attractive option because its breakdown into oxygen leaves no potentially harmful by-products.
Ozone can be applied to fresh produce to control pathogens and extend shelf-life by preventing fungus growth. For example, storage with 0.3 ppm ozone increased the shelf life of citrus fruits by one week (Palou et al. 2001). It has also demonstrated that ozone extends the shelf life of blackberries by up to 12 days without affecting their anthocyanin content. (Barth et al. 1995) these are just two of the many studies available in the literature.
Each step in the food production chain has multiple potential sources of contamination. In the Pre-harvest, dirty irrigation water, manure fertilizer, and poor working conditions are the most frequent causes of contamination of fruits and vegetables. On the Harvest, improper handling and storage, the use of contaminated wash water, contaminated processing equipment, transportation facilities, and cross-contamination from other products contribute to the microbial hazards found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, the loss of surface integrity during the cutting shredding, and slicing of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables can lead to penetration and rapid growth of microorganisms.
This contamination generates significant economic losses and shortens the useful life. In addition, contamination with pathogens such as Escherichia coli or Listeria can result in serious health problems. As a result, fruits need disinfection. Traditional methods involve rinsing with antimicrobial chlorine solutions; however, these solutions leave carcinogenic residues, are costly, and cause environmental harm. On the other hand, Ozone for food Industry disinfection is a great alternative. Washing vegetables and fruits with ozonated water can help ensure their safety. Ozone can not only destroy mold and bacteria but also is particularly effective against E. coli, the food pathogen of most concern to the produce industry.
Applications of ozone
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Fruits and vegetables are highly susceptible to spoilage microorganisms. The fruit and vegetable industry can use the ozone system to destroy pathogenic microbes, spoilage microbes, and mycotoxins.
Pesticide resistance and increased demand for organic grains have caused food manufacturers and grain operators to find new ways to control insects, pathogens, and pests in stored commodities. Ozone technology can break pesticide and chemical residues. Food items with ozone as a disinfectant have a much longer shelf life.
The micro-organisms adhered to the milk contact surface are hard to destroy. Ozone is a safe, cost-effective, and eco-friendly alternative to chloride-based sanitizers, Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent active against a wide range of micro-organisms and is effective for biofilm removal.
Breweries typically clean their equipment and pipelines with hot water and cleaning chemicals. These processes are energy-intensive and breweries incur significant costs. Additionally, residues and harmful by-products of chlorides degrade the quality of the product. There is a perfect solution to all these problems in Ozone for Wine & Beer.
The food industry can use Ozone for surface disinfection, sanitation of food plant equipment, sanitation of pipelines, and many other disinfection applications.
Our customers often ask us if ozone can be used in their food processing or sanitizing process. The answer is simple. Because ozone is the strongest and fastest active oxidizer commercially available today, it will work in any application where other sanitizers have been used, only faster and cheaper. Making the whole process not only efficient but also environmentally friendly.