Chlorine is the traditional go-to option for sanitation in food plants because of its effectiveness and low cost and despite chlorine’s potential health risks. Handling any powerful oxidizer requires care, however, and that discourages many food processors to explore alternatives such as aqueous ozone and ozone gas.
Ozone is widely used in municipal wastewater treatment, but it was off limits for food processors after the Food Additive Amendment of 1958 failed to include it in a list of approved chemicals. The omission was an oversight, ozone proponents maintain, and extensive research and lobbying was needed before federal regulators allowed its use, first for food-surface sanitation, then in direct contact with food.
Suppliers of ozone generators were euphoric in June 2001 when FDA lifted restrictions on ozone’s use. The decision was a response to a petition led by the Electric Power Research Institute, which liked the idea of a sanitizer that requires consumption of electricity.
But manufacturers are reluctant to change processes that work, and most ozone vendors came and went to pursue more promising avenues, such as swimming pool disinfection. Misapplication also retarded acceptance: Overdosing of water for equipment cleaning generated complaints of pitting of stainless steel, and poultry processors seeking high log reductions on chicken carcasses discovered oxidation could react with lipids and create rancidity issues.
Ozonated water is applied to fish at Albion Fisheries prior to packaging and frozen distribution.
Ozone is inherently unstable, with the three oxygen elements seeking stability by attaching to carbon, hydrogen and other atoms. Albion’s system generates ozone at a 1.5 ppm ratio; when it reaches the point of use, the concentration is 1.2 ppm, and within 30 seconds it completely dissipates, according to Uddin. Residual amounts become airborne at less than 0.3 ppm, enough to knock out any yeast and mold but not enough to affect human health. “It’s almost like a sterilized plant,” he adds. “Health inspectors have commented that there is no fish smell in the building.”
Read full article HERE
For more information on the use of ozone in food processing follow the link below:
Ozone in food processing
O.C. Schulz moves to ozone water cleaning
- by Tad Thompson | December 10, 2013
- see original story HERE
This fall, O.C. Schulz & Sons, Inc., the potato grower-packer-shipper located in Crystal, ND, installed an ozone generator for its grader’s wash line. The new system cleanses the company’s grading water system with ozone, as a contribution toward food safety.
David Moquist, the firm’s secretary-treasurer, expects the ozone water treatment to also extend his potatoes’ shelf life. “They say this will keep them fresher and have a longer shelf life. It’ll be hard to back that up until we see this in action,” he said in early November, as the system’s finishing touches went into place.
Moquist said his firm “is not by any means on the forefront on food safety.” Other companies that have more retail customers have more quickly gone in that direction. “We are trying to do what’s doable as we can.”
Schulz’s primary customer base is wholesalers and repackers, who are generally located from Texas, eastward.
As O.C. Schulz graded potatoes in November, Moquist described the spuds as having “nice color and being pretty good.”
Schulz’ potato volume was “little below average” this fall. “There is less tonnage than last year, but the grade is better.” Thus, he said the company’s total volume packed this year “may be close in the long run,” compared to a year earlier. “Until we get into it, we won’t know for sure.”
Moquist said all but one or two sheds in the Red River Valley have decreased volume from last year.
see original story HERE
Ozone water cleaning for potatoes
Ozone can be dissolved into water with an ozone injection system and be used in most any potato or other vegetable washing applications. See more information on the use of ozone in food processing at the link below:
Ozone in food processing
Fun fun video of the day. This is a great little video from ABC news from a few years ago about the use of ozone in food processing:
Even a cameo from the great Dr. Dee Graham! How cool is that?
Click HERE For more information aobut ozone in food processing.
A new paper was just published by Ozone Science and Engineering, the publishing arm of the International Ozone Association, on the use of ozone to extend the shelf life of strawberries.
Role of Ozone Concentrations and Exposure Times in Extending Shelf Life of Strawberry
Author: Mehmet Seçkin Aday, Mehmet Burak Büyükcan, Riza Temizkan & Cengiz Caner
Efficiency of three aqueous ozone concentrations (0.075 ppm, 0.15 ppm, 0.25 ppm) and two exposure times (2 and 5 minutes) were investigated for maintaining strawberry quality. Exposure to 0.075 ppm and 0.15 ppm ozone delayed the changes in pH, total soluble solids, firmness and electrical conductivity. All ozone treatments prevented mold growth during storage. However, the 0.25 ppm ozone treatment caused loss of strawberry quality due to high ozone concentration. The results have shown that; low (0.075 ppm) and middle (0.15 ppm) ozone concentrations can be applied to extend the shelf-life of strawberries by at least three weeks under refrigerated conditions.
Get full paper HERE
This paper is another great example of ozone use in food storage and food processing.
Benefits of Ozone Use in Cold Storage
- Extend shelf-life of the produce within the cold storage facility.
- Air-borne microbiological control
- Low ozone levels (<0.3 PPM) will inhibit microbiological growth in the air.
- High ozone levels can be used for disinfection when room is empty.
- Surface sanitation can be maintained
- By inhibiting microbiological growth pathogens on the surface of produce, containers, and walls will be kept to a minimum.
- Eliminate mold growth from cold storage area.
- Odor control
- Maintain an odor-free cold storage area
- Keep odors from cross contaminating between products
Methods of Ozone Application
- Ozone gas can be distributed throughout a cold storage facility at low levels.
- Ozone-sterilized ice is used to pack fresh fish and seafood to prolong freshness.
- Ozone gas is used in meat coolers to inhibit microbiological growth and extend shelf life.
- Ozone is dissolved into water to wash fruits and vegetables and remove mold and bacteria.
- Low levels of ozone gas can be used in containers to prolong shelf life upon delivery.
- Dissolved ozone is used to wash meat and poultry to remove bacteria and extend refrigerated shelf life.
Ozone in the Food Industry
Because ozone is a safe, powerful disinfectant, it can be used to control biological growth of unwanted organisms in products and equipment used in the food processing industries. Ozone is particularly suited to the food industry because of its ability to disinfect microorganisms without adding chemical by-products to the food being treated, or to the food processing water or atmosphere in which food are stored.
Scientists have discovered why fruit and vegetables last longer after being exposed to ozone.
Previous research revealed that exposing a tomato plant to environmental stresses such as a wound, drought or extreme temperature causes an increase in certain proteins.
The study, published in Postharvest Biology and Technology, explored the impacts of ozone on the amounts of certain proteins – called the protein profile – were present in a tomato fruit, to try and unravel why low levels of ozone gas can protect fruit and vegetables from disease, and increase their shelf life.
See full article HERE:
Learn more about ozone and food storage HERE
Ozone Generator for your Fridge
Ozone reduces fungicide residues on grapes
What is better than juicy red grapes sliced and sprinkled atop a leafy salad? Or what warms your heart more than seeing your child devour cluster after cluster of the succulent berries on a Saturday afternoon? After all, it’s not just a burst of sweetness that grapes offer with every bite–their flesh is saturated with vitamins C and K; their seeds, with antioxidants. So eating a lot of grapes is a good thing, right?
Yes and no. While it’s true that grapes ARE loaded with nutrients, it’s also a fact that they are exposed to chemicals–a LOT of chemicals. Grapes and their vines are fragile, and without the aid of modern agricultural pesticides and fungicides, those pretty grapes you feed to your children would have died and turned to compost long before making it to your kitchen table.
So how do we assist the survival of the grapes, and yet avoid ingesting those chemicals? This is where ozone steps in. A recent study shows that exposing grapes to ozone can reduce grapes’ fungicide residue.
In this study, a research team ran a trial to see if ozone exposure would increase the breakdown of fungicide residue on “Thompson Seedless” table grapes.
The grapes in the trial were treated with various fungicides. The grapes were then put into storage for 36 days. During the storage period, the control group was exposed to zero ozone. The trial group was exposed constantly to 0.3 PPM ozone.
While common grape fungicides do naturally break down over time, the study found that ozone helped several of the fungicides break down more rapidly. At the end of the 36 day trial period, the grapes in the control group still had 59.2% of the fungicide residue present. The grapes exposed to ozone, on the other hand, had only 35.5% of their fungicide residue remaining.
Further study is needed to determine if the chemicals resulting from the reaction between the fungicides and ozone cause negative health effects. In the meantime, though, ozone beckons as a hopeful assistant in keeping our grapes as clean and healthy as possible.
Link here to the original article, written by Emanuela Fontana. You can also purchase the complete study, published by the scholarly journal Postharvest Biology and Technology.
Ozone use for the degradation of aflatoxin in corn has become quite popular recently. There is a-lot of interest into the potential of ozone in this application. There is a great deal of data available that does prove that ozone will destroy aflatoxin.
Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin that is produced by a fungus (aspergillus). In climates where mold may grow on grain while it is growing in the field high levels of aflatoxin on grain may be an issue. Aflatoxin is a pathogen that can cause health issues in both humans and animals. The FDA has established action levels for Aflatxin for human and animal consumption that rage from 20 – 300 ppb.
With the rising prices of corn and other commodities the practical removal of unsafe levels of aflatoxin can be a necessary part of cost effective agriculture.
While there is a fair amount of lab data available, actual real-life data on the use of ozone to remove aflatoxin in corn, is not shared as much as other application. Recently we worked with a customer that did share the following information.
He used a 300 g/hr ozone generator on 6 bushels of corn for 2 hours of time. This reduced the aflatoxin levels from 58 ppb to 2 ppb. In further testing he was able to scale this to larger volumes of grain with lower ozone levels and longer periods of time. Thus, showing the potential of ozone use in a grain bin on a large scale over numerous days of ozone treatment. Also, he found that corn with higher levels of moisture showed improved results vs dry corn.
In addition to this data, we are currently in the process of building an ozone trailer with the capacity of 2,500 g/hr ozone generation for a customer in Indiana. This was secured after numerous on-site pilot tests with ozone were performed with ozone rental equipment.
On a large scale ozone gas can be introduced into the a grain bin aeration system. We have found that higher ozone concentrations have better results, and that the grain should be mixed or agitated during the process to ensure that all of the contaminated corn is contacted with ozone gas.
For additional information review the links below for technical papers on this topic:
Evaluation of Aflatoxin-Related products from Ozonated Corn
Efficacy and safety evaluation of ozone to degrade aflatoxin in corn
Ozone has also proven effective removing aflatoxin from other foods. More papers linked below:
Ozone used for reduction of aflatoxin in peanuts
Ozone used for reduction of aflatoxin in pistachios
Ozone used for reduction of aflatoxin in cottonseed and peanut meal
To learn how we can put our experience to use for you, contact us today.
Creating ozone inside food package
Ever grab an apple out of the fruit bowl as you’re heading out the door, only to realize as the door clicks behind you that you forgot to wash it? If you’re like me, you don’t bother unlocking the door and going back inside to wash the apple. You quickly rub your sleeve over it and take the first bite, knowing even as you do so that you are leaving the bacteria alive and well on the apple’s skin.
What if you didn’t need to wash the apple, or even rub your sleeve over it? Kevin Keener, a food science professor at Purdue University, is doing a study on a method for ozonating fruit before it leaves its package. He has found that creating ozone inside a plastic bag of fruit kills food-borne bacteria. Even E. coli bacteria is killed after just 45 seconds of treatment.
It appears from the experiments so far that the quality of the food is not affected by the ozone treatment, although more studies will be performed in the future to ensure the quality of the food undergoing this treatment.
Link here to the original article, written by Brian Wallheimer.
The FDA recently proposed two new rules intended to make the government more proactive about food safety, contrasting the current stance which most view as reactionary.
The first of these proposed rules would require food makers to have documented food safety plans. These plan would include details about how the company intends to prevent food-borne contamination in their products, as well as details about how the company would respond to contamination problems if they arise.
The second proposed rule would place enforceable safety standards on farms that produce and harvest food for public distribution. These standards would be based on science and risk-based assessments that have been found to result in “best practices” for food safety.
Both proposed rules would allow food manufacturers and farms time to comply once they are finalized. Despite the time allowed, food safety professionals should consider a proactive approach, researching options and costs to allow for proper compliance budgeting.
Ozone has been proven effective as an effective tool in the food safety arsenal, having been granted GRAS approval by the FDA in 1997 and seeing expansive growth since that time. Ozone Solutions has experience integrating ozone systems for food safety at various stages in the food production chain. Contact us today for further details about how we can help with your food safety planning!
“Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food”
“Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human”
Image Credit: Flickr user RDECOM
Ozonated Ice and Fish Storage
Ozone can be dissolved into water and frozen in ice form to create ozonated ice. Ozonated ice is essentially a method to store ozone and the antimicrobial power of ozone. This ozonated ice can be used in the storage of fish to prolong shelf-life and maintain a fresher, better looking product to the end user.
Ozone use to produce ozonated ice is not a new concept. In 1936, research in the commercial fish industry was conducted in France that showed a 33% extension in shelf-life of fresh fish stored on ozonated ice when compared with ice produced from regular water in the holes of fishing vessels (Salmon, J).
The use of ozonated ice in fish storage has expanded beyond the fishing vessel to fish farming and processing throughout the industry. Today, many fish processors and fish farms will use ozonated ice for all their seafood storage needs. Ozonated ice offers a convenient method of prolonging the shelf-life of seafood products.
Typical Ozone Injection System used to provide ozone in water for ice production
References and Case Studies:
- Use of ozone and ozonated ice increased shelf life of good quality sardines from 5 days to 8 days, and acceptable quality sardines from 15 days to 19 days (Campos, et al).
- Salmon iced with ozonated ice extended shelf-life from 4 days to 6 days when compared to non-ozonated ice, this data led to full scale implemented of ozone at the same plant in full scale application shelf-life extension of 33-50% was realized (Blogoslawski, et al).
- Catfish fillets treated with aqueous ozone showed a shelf-life of 14 days, compared to 4-6 days for conventional treatments of iced fillets. In this case ozone provided greater than a 100% extension of shelf-life (Brooks and Pierce).
- Squid stored on ozonated ice extended shelf-life by 12% and had a 2 log reduction in aerobic bacterial plate count vs. squid stored on conventional flake ice with no ozone (Blogoslawski, et al).
- Walter Blogoslawski stated in his paper Some Ozone Applications in Seafood that in his research, a plastic milk bottle filled with triple-distilled super-ozonized water (2-4 mg O3/ml water) frozen at -80-deg C could retain a residual of 1-2 mg of ozone for up to 6-months.
- Sease (1976) has stated that the half-life of ozone at 0-deg C, under sterile conditions, is on the order of 2,000 years. Thus, freezing water which contains residual ozone will produce ice containing ozone, which will reform water containing dissolved ozone when it melts. Ozone sterilized ice can normally be expected to be used within a few hours of it’s manufacture, certainly within a few days. Under this scenerio, there should be little, if any, loss of ozone in the ice due to decomposition back to oxygen (Rice, et al).
Read this entire article on our website Here: Ozonated ice and fish storage