Ozone use to extend food shelf-life

Below is a great article on the use of ozone in food storage.  For more info on food processing and food storage see our website by clicking here.Ozone use in cold storage facilities, transport containers, and off the field storage will help prolong shelf life of foods, and helps achieve and maintain an organic rating.Many applications still use methyl bromide or other harmful chemicals.  Ozone use replaced methyl bromide and achieves the same results for pest and bacterial control in food applications.See complete original article HERE

Using ozone to protect papaya exports

May 15, 2015
Using ozone to protect papaya exports
A sliced papaya with seeds and leaves. Credit: 123rf.com

Postharvest diseases reduce the value and quality of agricultural products, leading to economic losses for growers and producers. This is a major issue for agricultural countries like Malaysia, which exports papaya. Current technologies such as synthetic fungicides help minimise these losses, although potential risks to human health and the ecosystem restrict the use of such chemicals.

Led by Professor Asgar Ali, researchers at the Centre of Excellence for Postharvest Biotechnology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus are currently exploring the potential of ozone as a safer alternative to synthetic fungicides. This technology could help maximise profits for producers while improving the safety and quality of for consumers.

“It is saddening that current practices are too dependent on the use of synthetic chemicals – no doubt due to their effectiveness. But our health should come into consideration as well,” says Professor Ali.

To test the effects of ozone, the team exposed freshly harvested papaya to gaseous ozone for 96 hours and then stored it at cool temperatures for 14 days. The results showed that ozone-treated papaya had higher antioxidant activity and higher levels of ascorbic acid, beta-carotene and lycopene than untreated papaya.

Professor Ali’s team also found that ozone treatment can delay and decrease the incidence of anthracnose, a common postharvest disease of papaya, by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms on the surface of the fruit. Ozone is also effective at removing fungicide residues.

Further study confirmed that ozone has similar antimicrobial effects on freshly cut fruits and vegetables, which are generally more exposed to bacterial contamination during the cutting process.

Professor Ali’s team is currently working in collaboration with healthcare technology supplier MedKlinn International to further research on ozone treatment as a safer alternative for food protection. This collaboration will look into the commercialisation of ozone treatment with some fruit and vegetable growers and exporters. MedKlinn will supply an ozone chamber to these groups as a pilot project while Professor Ali’s team will provide technical expertise. This collaboration aims at targeting the fruit and vegetable export companies in Malaysia and recommending the use of as a safe alternative to the control of postharvest anthracnose.

For more info on food processing and food storage see our website by clicking

A second story is also listed below, but can be found here in full

Ozone Can Protect Exotic Fruits from Disease, Decay

Malaysian researchers are developing an ozone treatment to protect papaya and other exotic fruits from diseases and decay during storage and transportation.

Postharvest diseases reduce the value and quality of agricultural products, leading to economic losses for growers and producers. This is a major issue for agricultural countries like Malaysia, which exports papaya. Current technologies such as synthetic fungicides help minimize these losses, although potential risks to human health and the ecosystem restrict the use of such chemicals.

Led by Prof. Asgar Ali, researchers at the Centre of Excellence for Postharvest Biotechnology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus are currently exploring the potential of ozone as a safer alternative to synthetic fungicides. This technology could help maximize profits for producers while improving the safety and quality of agricultural products for consumers.

“It is saddening that current practices are too dependent on the use of synthetic chemicals – no doubt because of their effectiveness. But our health should come into consideration as well,” says Ali.

To test the effects of ozone, the team exposed freshly harvested papaya to gaseous ozone for 96 hours and then stored it at cool temperatures for 14 days. The results showed that ozone-treated papaya had higher antioxidant activity and higher levels of ascorbic acid, beta-carotene and lycopene than untreated papaya.

Ali’s team also found that ozone treatment can delay and decrease the incidence of anthracnose, a common postharvest disease of papaya, by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms on the surface of the fruit. Ozone is also effective at removing fungicide residues.

Further study confirmed that ozone has similar antimicrobial effects on freshly cut fruits and vegetables, which are generally more exposed to bacterial contamination during the cutting process.

Ali’s team is currently working in collaboration with healthcare technology supplier MedKlinn International to further research on ozone treatment as a safer alternative for food protection. This collaboration will look into the commercialization of ozone treatment with some fruit and vegetable growers and exporters. MedKlinn will supply an ozone chamber to these groups as a pilot project while Ali’s team will provide technical expertise. This collaboration aims at targeting the fruit and vegetable export companies in Malaysia and recommending the use of ozone treatment as a safe alternative to the control of postharvest anthracnose.

Ozone used to extend shelf-life of food receives funding

Ozone use for food processing is gaining popularity.  Ozone can be used to extend shelf-life of food in storage, cold storage and food processing.  Ozone will eliminate bacteria and mold in the air that will grow on the produce and cause premature rot.  Ozone will also break down ethylene safely in the air.  ethylene can ripen fruits and vegetables faster, by breaking down ethylene gas in the air fruits and vegetables will last longer in storage.

Recently a company in Scotland received funding to research this in depth.  Read full article here, or below

Company aiming to lengthen food shelf-life secures £2m of funding

A SCOTTISH company which has developed ozone-generating technology aimed at enabling a longer shelf-life for food and sterilising medical devices has secured £2 million of funding.

Anacail, a spin-out from the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy, has attracted London-based Sussex Place Ventures, which specialises in funding early-stage technology businesses, as a new investor in the equity funding round.

IP Group and the taxpayer-backed Scottish Investment Bank, both existing shareholders, also put up funding in the latest round, as did a small number of private individuals.

Anacail, which employs four people including chief executive officer Ian Muirhead, is working with several food-processing companies on the commercial application of its technology.

Mr Muirhead noted that these companies were trialling Anacail’s devices in manufacturing environments.

He highlighted his hopes that products benefiting from Anacail’s technology, which is aimed at improving food safety as well as extending shelf-life, would start to be seen in shops next year.

Anacail noted its technology had applications in the hospitality and catering, as well as the retail, sectors, and could play a part in food decontamination from “farm gate to plate”.

Mr Muirhead said that the technology was being evaluated by companies with a view to introducing it in food-processing to increase the shelf-life of products.

He noted that the technology involved the conversion of some of the oxygen in the air into ozone, which is described by Anacail as a “potent germicide”, within a sealed container.

Mr Muirhead emphasised that there would be no leakage of the ozone, which decays to oxygen within a short period, to the “outside world” from the container.

Anacail’s process uses “cold plasma” technology, with a high-energy electric field inside the packaging breaking down the oxygen into single atoms, which are then converted into ozone.

Oxygen exists in air as two-atom molecules. Ozone molecules comprise three oxygen atoms.

Explaining its technology, Anacail, which means “shield”, “preserve” or “protect” in Gaelic, says: “After a short time, all the ozone decays back to oxygen, leaving no residual chemicals, and a decontaminated or sterilised package and contents. Because this innovative approach offers rapid, safe and chemical-free sterilisation, the technology can be applied wherever there is a need to reduce microbial contamination inside sealed packaging.”

Mr Muirhead noted that the process could reduce bacteria, mould and yeast on the surface of food, straight after packaging.

Anacail is also aiming to apply its technology in “high-level decontamination within healthcare settings”, and sterilisation of medical devices.

Noting that Anacail had developed a prototype of its technology aimed at the healthcare sector, Mr Muirhead said the company was speaking to a number of original equipment manufacturers which were potential partners in this area.

He said these potential partners were firms that had medical devices on the market and were looking to bring sterilisation products that could be used with them. He noted that, because this potential use related to regulated products, this was a longer process.

Mr Muirhead said that a repeat-use medical device could be put into a package, treated to ensure high-level decontamination and then stored until it was ready to be used again.

He added that the technology could be used for medical devices featuring complex electronics or optics, made of materials that could not withstand high-temperature sterilisation, such as flexible endoscopes or ultrasound probes.

Mr Muirhead said that, following the latest funding round, the University of Glasgow and the management of Anacail would between them have a stake of less than 50 per cent in the company.

Anacail had, he noted, secured seed funding back in November 2012.

Mr Muirhead was pleased with the level of interest shown in Anacail by potential investors.

He said: “We spoke to a number of investors and they were very interested to move quickly.”

He added: “It is early-stage technology. I think we are well-placed to bring it to the market.”

Anacail recently appointed former Geest chief executive Gareth Voyle as its chairman. The company, still based at the University of Glasgow, has also appointed two specialist advisers, Liz Kynoch and Jonathon Lintott.

Ms Kynoch was previously group technical director at supermarket group Tesco. Mr Lintott co-founded Andersen Caledonia, a Scottish infection-control firm, and has experience in the installation and operation of sterilisation equipment and the manufacture of medical disposables.

Anacail and the University of Glasgow were recently awarded a £300,000 Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst grant to develop the company’s application of ozone in medical device sterilisation and decontamination.