Make food and water safer than ever with ozone generators
What Microbes Can Ozone Treat?
Water safety issues previously addressed with acids, peroxides, chlorine or other oxidizing agents are now the main alternative to ozone treatment. If ozone is not effective in dealing with water quality problems, it is likely that other available oxidants will not be able to do the job either. Ozone can effectively kill many microorganisms without harming the food or surfaces they inhabit.
But to summarize, here are the categories of pollutants that can be treated with ozone:
Fungi and Yeast - Everyone Knows It
Protozoa (including parasites and amoeba) - all known.
It has some limitations in its effectiveness against Cryptosporidium, but remains the most effective sanitizer of all known against this organism.
Generally, ozone is used commercially for:
Disinfect water before bottling
Kills bacteria, yeast and protozoa on food contact surfaces such as fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, legumes and all animal meats
Kills airborne yeast and mold spores in food processing plants
Chemically corrodes (oxidizes) impurities in water such as iron, arsenic, hydrogen sulfide, nitrite and organic agglomerates
Oxidizes and degrades many organic pollutants, including pesticides, herbicides, and other persistent environmental chemicals, as described below
Disinfecting food and water with ozone
Not only is ozone superior to chlorination in water treatment, its application in many types of food cleaning and disinfection is also worth discussing here. Ozone is used for food disinfection, for surface disinfection of vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products. In June 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (fda) published a final ruling in its Federal Register, approving ozone as an additive to kill food-borne pathogens, "as a food (including meat and poultry) an antibacterial agent". "This also includes the use of ozone in the handling, storage and processing of food, or even in the preparation, packaging, or holding of agricultural raw materials for commercial purposes." This is pretty much an FDA order, as the government report compares ozone with other less favorable Food cleaning methods were compared, such as the use of hydrogen peroxide, UV irradiation, peracetic acid, and bromination.
In order to disinfect microorganisms, ozone must come into physical contact with them. But ozone only needs a few seconds of contact time to destroy pathogens. In fact, at normal drinking water pH and temperature, no pathogen can survive 1.5 mg of ozone per liter for 5 minutes.
Use of ozone on fruits and vegetables. It is ideal for cleaning and sanitizing fresh products directly and can be sprayed on all equipment and surfaces for food packaging or processing. It can then be sprayed on storage areas and active treatment areas on walls and floors to kill and remove bacteria or other organic matter. And because ozone has a short half-life, it doesn't build up on surfaces like detergents if not removed by proper cleaning. Ozone air is even used to dry food to eliminate cross-contamination in the air, and ozone refrigeration is used to eliminate mold build-up.
Another important consideration is the preservation of fresh produce. Fruit and vegetable research has shown that cooling fruit and vegetables as soon as possible after harvest is a key factor in extending product shelf life. So by adding ozone to the chilled air and watering the fruit or vegetable after harvest, purification and cooling can be done in one step.
Fortunately, ozone doesn't seem to damage the tissues of vegetables and fruits when they come into contact with them. Preliminary results from several current ozone-equipped fresh cut processors show lower bacterial counts compared to chlorinated systems. Products like shredded lettuce have a longer shelf life, less browning, and a significantly better flavor when cleaned with ozone than when cleaned with chlorine. Ozone is also ideal for cleaning and sanitizing beef, pork, poultry, seafood and other fish directly, as well as all equipment and surfaces packaged or processed. When vacuum packaging, ozone gas is used to ensure decontamination entering the packaging.
Some additional benefits of ozone generators for the food processing industry are:
Extend the shelf life of food
Is it safer for employees than any conventional chemical?
Eliminates all chemical use, is chemical-free, and has no chemical by-product chlorination
No need for hot water and traditional disinfectants
is produced on-site, eliminating the transportation, storage and handling of other hazardous materials
Are the production costs low once the generator is in service?
Allow waste water recycling
Many cost comparisons between ozone and chlorine have been made in a variety of different applications. An exhaustive comparative analysis of the two approaches is beyond the scope of this paper. It is worth mentioning that depending on the specific use and application, chlorine is generally less expensive. However, as new applications are discovered and greater demand for safety and quality, ozone has become cheaper and better overall. For example, one must take into account the inherent costs of chlorine gas transportation, clean-up and storage of potentially dangerous toxic chemicals. In contrast, ozone is generated on-site by ozone generators, with no storage requirements, and is made from harmless oxygen. Depending on the application, chlorination may be cheaper or more expensive than ozone treatment.
Ozone is a very reactive molecule that kills bacteria and other microorganisms 3,000 times faster than chlorine. Because ozone is highly reactive, it is also effective at removing organic contaminants that grow on food processing equipment.
A food problem in developing countries is the widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides on crops. There is no doubt that the use of these chemicals has increased farmers' crop yields. These chemicals also help your grocery store deliver fresher produce -- a benefit few want to lose. With these benefits, however, national concerns about the harmful effects of these chemicals have peaked. This has led to the current massive organic movement aimed at making our products safer and healthier.
Simple but powerful ozone molecules are naturally used by the Earth to clean the atmosphere. Thankfully, it can now be produced safely and effectively for many food-grade cleaning purposes. Ozone is becoming the method of choice for disinfecting water supplies for a number of reasons, primarily effectiveness and health safety. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended the use of ozone to sanitize all types of food. Ozone can even evaporate pesticides, herbicides and other persistent chemical residues on the surface of produce, resulting in a new generation of healthier and safer food.