Ozone has become one of the most popular choices of disinfectant for treating water systems, removing odors, preserving the freshness of food, and purifying the air. Its use in preserving food can be traced back to the 1900s when it was used as a food preservative of meat and fruits in cold storage. Studies found that the use of ozone inhibits the growth of molds and yeast. The food industry is always faced with the challenge of keeping food fresh for extended periods of time, while retaining its nutritional value is not lost.
Preserving the freshness of food using ozone
Ozone is a triatomic form of gas, comprising three molecules of oxygen. It is available on site for very short lengths of time and hence the use of ozonators, and ozone generators were manufactured. Its this highly effective oxidation capabilities that makes ozone an attractive choice in a wide variety of treatments. Bacteria, viruses, and other harmful pathogens do not stand a chance against ozone’s powerful oxidation process that breaks down the cell walls and completely destroys it.
In today’s world, the need for hygiene and ensuring sanitation is greater than ever. With the increased awareness of chemical additives used in food today, the need to protect consumers is a top priority. Chlorine is traditionally used as a disinfectant; however, it was found that against high Ph levels, chlorine is not as effective and to make it more alarming, chlorine is also known to react to trihalomethanes, which are a group of chemicals formed when the disinfectants react to organic or inorganic matter. These are environmentally hazardous and have adverse effects on humans.
Hence the hunt is always to find the perfect answer to an economical solution that can be adapted to different food processes, while retaining long lasting freshness, kills pathogens and keeps disease at bay! Hence a good food rinsing and sanitizing system is important. This is a tall order and sounds impossible to deliver, but it has been found that ozone is a great choice because of its high oxidization capabilities, its short contact time with the pathogens found on fresh fruits or vegetables, does not leave behind any residue unlike its other alternatives in the market, and what’s more, ozone is found to be versatile and can be applied to heat sensitive foods. Further ozone is also considered economical to use and does not require any heavy maintenance.
In the food industry, ozone is used to treat both the food plant waste as well as in killing pathogens, thereby extending the shelf life. Using ozone generators or ozonators are a great way to keep your fridge interiors sanitized and fresh, which leads to a reduction of waste and also saves money. It has been found that companies that use an ozone injection system, which automatically turns off when the level is high, has brought a volume of savings through less spoilage of food and greater payback.
Hence ozone is considered the best and effective alternative in preserving food and extending the shelf life.