Ozone use for growing produce and food safety

Another great article is linked and pasted below on the use of ozone.  The author of this article wisely points out the potential pit-falls of ozone while extolling the benifits of ozone in many food processing and growing applications.  Ozone is not a silver bullet, ozone is a tool in the toolbox in these applications and should be used as such.

If you have questions about the use of ozone, or specifically the integration of ozone equipment into your application, please, contact our office.  Our applications engineers have decades of experience on the use of ozone integration into many applications and can guide you toward a successful and profitable implementation of ozone into your process.


Food Safety: Once More Into the Ozone

Read full article HERE 

We are riding another wave of keen interest in the potential for ozone-treated water (ozonation) to supplement or wholly substitute for current antimicrobials added to postharvest wash and cooling water. Similarly, gaseous ozone and ozone-fogging applications are triggering cautious interest for surface sanitization in pre-coolers and cold storage.

The attraction to drop other chemistries, predominantly various chlorine-based formulations, in favor of ozone is clear:

  • Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent
  • Ozone is FDA-listed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)
  • Ozone is allowed as an “ingredient” under the USDA National Organic Program
  • Ozone lethality to viruses and parasites in contaminated water far exceeds chlorination
  • Ozone treatment enhances water reuse systems by micro-flocculation of suspended particulates
  • Ozone has been shown to degrade pesticide residues in reuse water and on fruit surfaces
  • Ozone creates negligible disinfection by-products
  • Ozone breaks down to atmospheric oxygen

Postharvest water ozonation, in particular, in the fresh produce sector has increased over the past 10 years, including with tree fruit and vine crops. Ozone generation and delivery-device suppliers (ozone generators) cite recognized safe and effective use in water treatment since the early 1800’s, with levels as low as 1 ppm.

(Photo: Trevor Suslow)

As an antimicrobial oxidizer, consider the following equation: Ozone > Peroxyacetic Acid > Hydrogen Peroxide > Hypochlorous Acid > Chlorine Dioxide. Each of these chemistries has some advantages and other mechanisms of antimicrobial action, such as being both an oxidizer and metabolic poison to microbes, but that is for another article.

Results Aren’t There
However, decades of promise from bench-top studies and volumes of peer-reviewed papers has have not resulted in broad and effective application of water ozonation in fresh produce packing as the sole antimicrobial additive to a postharvest packing process. Along with the impressive list of beneficial traits, there are equally apparent limitations.

Up front, I want to share that I have conducted many lab, pilot-scale, and on-site tests with various ozone-based systems for more than 25 years, most recently within the past six months. Ozone can be a powerful addition to your quality and safety management toolbox but comes with a fairly long list of caveats and qualifiers. These precautionary notes run the full range of worker safety, compatibility with legacy equipment and materials, application-specific performance limitations, and, naturally, cost considerations.

In my experience, the most straightforward and beneficial use of ozone in fruit handling and packing is as a terminal rinse step and as the post-ultrafiltration treatment of re-circulated water in postharvest wash and fluming systems.

(Photo: Trevor Suslow)

Another commonly beneficial application is cold storage or forced-air treatment with gaseous ozone or room fogging. The most cost-effective applications to room ozonation are for bulk-stored product packed to order rather than pre-packed cartons. In long-term cold storage, whole-system designs including bin stacking, sensor deployment, and detailed airflow mapping to minimize dose gradients are critical for beneficial outcomes within a lot and to prevent ozone injury to the product, especially during storage and distribution. Additionally, the cost of facility and equipment conversion or design to ozone-compatible materials and components must be considered.

A tree fruit grower/shipper recently asked me, “Why can’t we make ozone work in our pack-line?” My simple answer was that you could if you develop an integrated system to allow it to provide a benefit. Don’t expect a “‘silver bullet”’ outcome to microbial control objectives with ozone.

Don’t fall for a simple plug-and-play marketing scheme to work by merely installing an ozone generator and injection point. You have to define your expectations for where and how your operation will realize a value to product quality and environmental management.

A key issue here is that the majority of peer-reviewed journal papers extolling the promise of both gaseous, fogging, and aqueous ozone treatment for quality, decay control, and food safety fail to provide a true practical context for efficacy expectations to the end user. Without getting too deep into the weeds of technical issues and experimental methods, the microbial challenges using lab-grown cells are too likely to over-predict lethality in a commercial context. In the absence of a demonstrated performance in lethality to naturally occurring and environmentally adapted index microbes, expectation for claimed 99.99% or 99.999% kill of some target-inoculated pathogen is highly suspect.

Assess Carefully
Similarly, model systems, which report outstanding pathogen kill potential, often have incompatible parameters for dose and product exposure duration or uniformity of contact for high-throughput handling systems. There are some applications with good potential for performance as surface sanitizers on product, on equipment, and in cold storage but careful assessment under the conditions of use generally find the flaws and limitations in a hurry.

One of the common pitfalls is matching the ozone Ct exposure (Concentration x Time) curves for phytotoxicity (product injury) to microbial disinfection (log kill) of the naturally present index microbes mentioned above. Some commodities have good ozone exposure tolerance but our experience has been that a number of inherent fruit traits and influencing preharvest factors lead to injury well below the threshold for beneficial levels of pathogen control, whether postharvest decay spores or foodborne human pathogens.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to observe systems in a few locations with recent installations of ozonated wash-rinse systems for fruit handling. Realistically, from some preliminary tests, the greatest benefit is realized for in-shift control of microbial build-up on produce contact and adjacent non-contact surfaces.


For more information about the use of ozone in food processing follow the link below:


Ozone treatment reduces rot

Ozone treatment reduces rot in citrus fruits to extend shelf-life

Citrus fruits have a tissue pH below 4 and are therefore heavily subjected to fungal attacks during the post-harvest phase. Penicillium italicum and P. digitatum represent the most common and serious causes of alteration during both storage and distribution. 
Physiologists and chemists from the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville studied the effects of continuous and intermittent exposure (simulating a night-day cycle) to ozone-enriched atmosphere (between 1.6 and 60 mg/kg) at 5°C for 15 days and a subsequent 15-day shelf life at 20°C on six citrus varieties (two tangerines: Fortune and Ortanique and four oranges: Navelate, Lanelate, Salustiana and Valencia). 
The in vitro and in vivo growth of Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum was first assessed. Based on the results obtained, continuous exposure to 60 mg/kg of ozone and intermittent exposure to 1.6 mg/kg of ozone were chosen for industrial trials while decay and oleocellosis incidence, colour, firmness, weight loss and juice (soluble solid content, pH, titratable acidity and vitamin C) were analysed
Results showed that ozone application did not damage the quality of the fruit and that P. italicum latency in exposed oranges was 3 times higher than that of fruit not subjected to ozone treatment.
“The study showed that continuous and intermittent ozone delayed decay as well as the incidence of oleocellosis, slowed down the colouring process and reduced loss of firmness and weight. For industrial applications, the advantage of using ozone for 12 hours/day, thus simulating the day-night cycle, is that workers would not be exposed to ozone in refrigerated units during the day-time shift,” report researchers.
Full article HERE: http://www.freshplaza.com/article/189159/Ozone-treatment-reduces-rot
Ozone is commonly used in food processing application to reduce bacteria and extend shelf-life of fruits and vegetables.  Learn about the use of ozone at the link below:

Using ozone to boost shelf life

Ozone extends shelf life of many fruits and vegetables by inactivating bacteria, and mold that grow on this produce to create rot, or generally shorten the shelf-life.

Berry Gardens have teamed up with tech firm Anacail to use ozone in their packaging for a longer shelf life and waste reduction

Using ozone to boost shelf life

stone fruit and berry producers Berry Gardens will use new ozone technology to boost shelf life for their produce.

The growers have teamed up with technology firm Anacail Ltd to introduce ozone into their packaging for berries, cherries and plums.

The “game changing” technology reduces the presence of yeasts and moulds, meaning extended time on sale and reduced waste.

Berry Gardens CEO, Jacqui Green, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Anacail and our businesses are closely aligned in our ambition to ensure the best berries, cherries and plums are available to our consumers across the breadth of the retail sector.”

Anacail says it uses ozone in a revolutionary way by generating the gas inside the packaging without damaging it.

After a short time all the ozone decays back to oxygen, leaving no residual chemicals, and a decontaminated or sterilised package and contents.

Click HERE for more info on the use of ozone in food processing applications to extend the shelf-life of produce.

Raw Water?

A new fad in the USA lately appears to be “Raw Water”.  This is a potentially dangerous fad that could have consequences.  Tap water, bottled water, or treated well water would all be safer and healthier.

From my understanding, this is untreated spring or well water.  Something, many people in impoverished countries are forced to drink to their own peril!  However, here in the USA, we are selling this “raw water” as a luxury item.  Recently, this fad has even extended beyond the USA!

Here are a few articles we have found lately:

‘Raw’ water craze could leave you on the toilet


Experts are cautioning Kiwis against diving into the world’s latest natural health craze – untreated, unfiltered “raw” water.

In some parts of the US, there’s been a drive in alternative health circles to “get off the water grid” and drink spring water that hadn’t been filtered, treated, or even sterilised.

One San Francisco grocery store was selling 9 litre orbs of the water – claimed to have “a vaguely mild sweetness, a nice smooth mouth feel, nothing that overwhelms the flavour profile” – for NZ$50 each.

There didn’t yet appear to be any companies following suit here, but scientists have warned Kiwis not to try sourcing their own – and stick to their town supply.

“Consuming untreated water is like driving your car without wearing a safety belt – you might get away with it, but you are taking an unnecessary risk,” said Michael Baker, a professor of public health at Otago University in Wellington.

New Zealand surface water was heavily contaminated with microbes that could cause sickness – among them protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidia, or bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter, which struck down more than 5000 Havelock North residents in 2016.

There were also increasing cases of serious, and occasionally fatal, shiga-toxin producing E. coli infections, Bakers said.

“From a health and sustainability perspective, the science supports use of treated, fluoridated, reticulated water supplies as the main source of drinking water in most situations.

“There are of course exceptional circumstances where people need to use alternatives, such as boiled water if local water treatment is inadequate – which may for example occur when water treatment systems are overwhelmed by heavy rainfall events.”

Baker dismissed claims by producers of raw water being superior to properly treated water as “idiotic”.

Raw Water: Here Is What You Need To Know Before You Buy It


What has been done to test the raw water for dangerous microbes such as bacteria and parasites?

Water is not treated and cleaned for fun. Untreated water can include microorganisms such as:

  • Giardia lamblia: This parasite can cause a diarrhea-causing disease called Giardiasis, otherwise known as “beaver fever.” Note: it is not Bieber fever, which is a completely different thing.
  • Cryptosporidium: This wonderful microrganism burrows into your intestines and can cause watery diarrhea for a couple weeks or kill you if your immune system is weak.
  • Vibrio cholerae: This charming bacteria can cause cholera, which can kill you.
  • Salmonella typhi: This bacteria can lead to typhoid fever. And some infected people can continue to carry this bacteria for the rest of their lives.

The seller should be able to document how the water was collected and tested. Otherwise, why not go to the Hudson River outside Manhattan, catch some fish, and just sell them as raw sushi?

Food-safety expert warns latest bizarre Silicon Valley $60 ‘raw water’ trend could quickly turn deadly


When food-safety expert Bill Marler saw The New York Times’ trend piece on Silicon Valley’s recent obsession with raw water, he thought he was reading a headline from The Onion.

According to The Times, demand for unfiltered water is skyrocketing as tech-industry insiders develop a taste for water that hasn’t been treated, to prevent the spread of bacteria or other contaminants.

In San Francisco, “unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized spring water” is selling for as much as $60.99 for a 2.5 gallon jug. Startups dedicated to untreated water are popping up. People — including startup Juicero’s cofounder Doug Evans — are gathering gallons of untreated water from natural springs to bring to Burning Man.

Tourmaline Spring sells an untreated water as “sacred, living water.”Tourmaline Spring

While Evans and other fans say raw water is perfect for those who are “extreme about health,” Marler — a food-safety advocate and a lawyer — says the opposite is true.

“Almost everything conceivable that can make you sick can be found in water,” Marler told Business Insider.

Unfiltered, untreated water, even from the cleanest streams, can contain animal feces, spreading Giardia, which has symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea and results in roughly 4,600 hospitalizations a year. Hepatitis A, which resulted in 20 deaths in a California outbreak in 2017, can be spread through water if it isn’t treated. E. coli, and cholera can also be transmitted via untreated water.

Because filtered, treated water has become the norm, Marler says, most people don’t realize how dangerous s0-called raw water can be.

“The diseases that killed our great-grandparents were completely forgotten about,” he said.

Most Americans don’t personally know anyone who died of Hepatitis A or cholera, thanks to advances in technology and more stringent safety standards. As a result, they had a hard time realizing the risks involved in consuming untreated water.

The truth about ‘raw’ water


If you’re concerned about your water, Neltner suggests checking the Consumer Confidence Report that water utilities are required to issue to their customers every year; it will tell you your water source and the level of contaminants. If you don’t have your report (you mean you don’t always read every word that comes with your water bill?), contact your local water provider. And if you want a cheap insurance policy, use a water filter — it’ll remove some, although not all, contaminants.

Amid all the uncertainty, there is one thing we know for sure: Bottling and transporting water uses energy and burns fossil fuels. On the greenhouse gas front, bottled emits up to 32 times (depending primarily on how far it’s shipped) the CO2 of tap, according to a University of Michigan analysis. Your (16-ounce) bottle-a-day habit is the carbon equivalent of driving between 56 and 224 miles per year, which means that bottled water isn’t Enviro Enemy No. 1 — it’s just a really easy place to curtail your impact, since there’s an alternative right there in your kitchen, practically free.

For some of us, some of the time, tap water quality is an important issue. For most of us, most of the time, it isn’t. I happily drink the water coming out of my tap. I also happily drink the raw water gurgling up a few miles down the road. Mostly, I’m grateful to live a life where the quality of my water doesn’t have to be one of my concerns.

If you are still not convinced and want the “raw water” but maybe without so many viruses and bacteria, consider drilling a well and treating your water with ozone. Ozone will not alter the water in any way, will not remove minerals, but will kill all bacteria and viruses from your “raw water” and make it safe to drink.

Clink link below to learn more about the use of ozone for well water treatment:


Ozone Information Webinar

Complete Sanitization for Food and Beverage Companies Using High-Efficiency Ozone Systems, New Webinar Hosted by Xtalks

The live webinar upcoming on February 14, 2018, will present the latest methods to significantly reduce chemical use, mitigate energy demand and increase food and beverage production up-time using our technology that produces ozone as a means for sanitization. The technology can be used to process equipment, process water and to treat plant wastewater in breweries, dairies, food facilities, juice producers and adjacent manufacturing sites.

Ozonetech is a leading ozone based solutions provider in the food and beverage industry, well equipped to meet the industry’s challenges to move towards more sustainable production. The presentation will include examples using Ozonetech’s turn-key systems in a number of chemical-intensive operations such as CIP, cooling towers, rinsing and product shelf-life improvement. Overall chemical and energy use can be reduced by at least 50% and in some cases eliminates chemicals altogether without leaving any by-products.

Join this complimentary broadcast to find out how to successfully implement these solutions at your facility. For more information about this complimentary webinar,

visit: Complete Sanitization for Food and Beverage Companies Using High-Efficiency Ozone Systems