As an environmentally friendly disinfectant, ozone now is being used as an alternative to chlorine sanitizers in many segments of the food industry. Ozone-enriched water kills microbes as effectively as chlorine, and since it is generated on-site its use eliminates the need for personnel to handle, mix and dispose of harsh chemicals for sanitation. Further, since ozone readily reverts to oxygen, an end-product that leaves no residue on contact surfaces. Ozone-enriched water can be sprayed directly on floors, drains, walls, wettable equipment, tanks (externally and internally), and clean rooms via mobile or centralized systems with hand-held or drop-down, low-pressure sprayers. Over time, the use of ozonated water for sanitation in food plants removes and/or prevents biofilm. In addition, resulting runoff water is extremely clean and, over time, will improve overall plant sanitation by reducing overall microbial load.
Ozone, a powerful oxidant, is effective against various kinds of microorganisms on fruits and vegetables. Promising results have been revealed in solving the problems of the food industry like mycotoxin and pesticide residues by ozone application. Spontaneous decomposition without forming hazardous residues in the treatment medium makes ozone safe in food applications. If improperly used, ozone can cause some deleterious effects on products, such as losses in sensory quality. Treatment conditions should be specifically determined for all kinds of products for effective and safe use of ozone.
Ozone is used in the poultry industry as air and water disinfection /treatments for the storage, incubation of eggs and breeding of healthy birds. Ozone being an effective oxidant, it is mostly used for processing, storage and transport of poultry and meat products. Ozonated water is used to feed the birds as drinking water, wash and sterilize meat and equipments to kill harmful bacteria, virus, pathogens and deodorised the air inside poultry farm.
Ozone has many uses in the food-processing industries, including sanitation of seafood processing plants, processing of shellfish in most European countries, and as a wash for seafood to remove bacteria and protein slime several times more effectively than chlorine. Since ozone is a strong oxidizing agent that can effectively clean soil and biofilm from surfaces, it works well in seafood-processing plants. With a half-life measured in minutes, ozone must be generated on site; and the application results in the formation of few disinfection by-products. Ozone treatment increases the shelf life and prevents that ‘off’ flavour.
Ground beef recalls are commonly caused by unsafe levels of E.coli bacteria found in the product that is distributed to stores. Ozone has proven to be a very effective antimicrobial intervention in many food processing applications, including red meat and beef applications. Ozone has proven to be an effective antimicrobial intervention against E.coli, and specifically O157:H7 E.Coli.
Beginning with the receiving/holding phase through the full body & Evisceration cavity antimicrobial wash to the “Chilling – Ozone Misting” to “Storage – Ambient Air/gas systems”, all the way to the processed packaged retail cuts, extending the supply chain shelf life cycle. Applied ozone as an antimicrobial intervention works replacing or eliminating chemicals thereby reducing operational cost. Ozonated recycled denatured water is also used “for example” in CIP as a receiving and holding washout stage a value added HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) step.
Beverage production shows the variety of advantages to be gained by using ozone. Ozone can be used in a wide range of products, including wine, milk, bottled juices, soft drinks, and can also be used in the brewing process. When used to treat wine, ozone has a number of effects. First it is able to speed up the ageing process, thus reducing the overall time of production. It is used to avoid turbidity, which means that the wine keeps clear and clean. Milk production uses ozone to slow souring, which results in a prolonged storage life. The use of ozone in bottled juices and soft drinks pertains to the water that is used to make up many of the drinks. Ozone is used not only to disinfect the water, but also to rid it of any colouration. Within the brewing processes, ozone is used as a safer, and all round more preferable, option for the disinfection of pipelines, filters and bottles due to its non persistent and non toxic residue.