Custom Ozone Injection Systems

Oxidation Technologies builds a wide variety of ozone injection systems. However, we also customize our wide range of systems with standard optional equipment we offer on any one of our systems. Below are a few examples of custom systems we have provided recently.

OST-40 Ozone Injection System with options:

  • Dissolved ozone meter 0-10 PPM
  • ORP monitor
  • Water flow switch – turn system ON/OFF based on water flow
  • Ozone off-gas scrubber
  • High ambient temp alarm
  • Internal air compressor
OST-40 Ozone Injection Ssytem

Ozone levels in water can be controlled with either the Dissolved ozone meter, or the ORP meter, or both. The ozone generator will turn OFF when high limit ozone in water, or ORP limits are reached.

An internal air compressor is used to provide compressed air to the system, only electrical power is required for this system. Due to the internal compressor and potential environment, the high temp alarm was also added.

OST-20 with Ozone gas control options:

  • Dissolved ozone meter 0-10 ppm
  • Ozone gas output valves x10
  • HMI touchscreen for ozone level and timer controls
Ozone injection system
OST-20 Ozone Injection System with ozone gas options

This system features ten ozone output valves to distribute ozone to 10 separate cold storage rooms. Ozone gas levels are measured and controlled with remote ozone meters, ozone levels are displayed on the HMI panel. Both controlled ambient ozone levels, and timers are controlled on the HMI panel. This data can all be viewed remotely from any location via an internet connection.

OST-30 Ozone System with two injection systems:

  • Second ozone injection loop for 2 water streams
  • Larger 30-gallon ozone contact tank for water disinfection
  • Dissolved ozone meter 0-10 ppm for surface sanitation loop
  • ORP meter for water disinfection loop
  • CDU-30 ozone scrubber
  • High ambient temp alarm

One ozone injection system with two separate injection loops.

Injection loop #1 features a 30 gallon ozone contact tank and an ORP monitor for water disinfection. An ORP level of 800 or higher is maintained in this tank to provide disinfection in up to 30 GPM of water.

Injection loop #2 features a standard ozone mixing tank with a high range dissolved ozone meter to provide up to 20 GPM of water with ozone levels of 2.0 – 3.0 for surface sanitation applications.

Additional features of this system include a CDU-30 ozone scrubber for ozone off-gas and a high-temperature alarm. A UV-light system was also provided with this system to be used with the water disinfection ozone injection loop. This removes ozone from water and provides disinfected water with no ozone residual for a sensitive downstream process.

OST-60 Ozone System with 50 gallon ozone contat tank:

  • 50-gallon ozone contact tank
  • Dissolved ozone meter 0-10 ppm
  • Oxygen purity meter
  • Water flow switch

This system features a 50 gallon ozone contact tank to provide additional contact time with ozone and water. A dissolved ozone meter verifies dissolved ozone levels and offers control. The system can be turned ON/OFF with a water flow switch.

An oxygen purity meter is built into this system. This meter provides a digital reading of actual oxygen purity inside the cabinet. A low O2 purity indicator is provided on the enclosure as an alarm.

OST-100 Ozone System options:

  • 50 gallon ozone contact tank
  • Low-range dissolved ozone meter
  • ORP monitor
  • Sanitary ozone transfer pump with VFD and power disconnect
  • Water flow meter
  • HMI touchscreen for automated system operation

This custom system was built to specific requirements by this customer. A 50 gallon ozone contact tank was provided on the system. A large ozone transfer pump with a sanitary impeller was provided with a VFD to achieve a specific water flow-rate through the system. This water flow rate was measured with the water flow meter. Dissolved ozone and ORP are measured and controlled on this system based on water flow-rate and customers’ needs. All this control and set-up is performed with the touchscreen HMI panel built onto this system.

Ozone use in Poultry Processing

TUCKER, Ga. – New research has demonstrated how an innovative packaging technology can extend shelf life and improve the safety of poultry products. The USPOULTRY Foundation funded project was conducted in Athens, Georgia, at a US Dept. of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility and concluded that atmospheric cold plasma (CP)-based antimicrobial packaging technology can be used to increase shelf life and decrease pathogens in raw poultry breast meat. Dr. Hong Zhuang, research food technologist with the ARS Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit, discovered a packaging system that utilizes electrical current to create ozone in sealed poultry packages, which results in decreased spoilage and pathogens in the products.

Read Full article HERE

Packaged chicken

The CP-based system is an alternative to traditional, non-thermal antimicrobial interventions, which include water-chilling poultry in a chlorinated solution and maintaining safe temperatures during the processing and storage of the products.

According to the USPOULTRY summary of the findings: “There are a number of advantages with this packaging system compared to alternative treatments, such as eliminating pre-packaging treatment requirements, adaptability for use with any size and type of package and treatment time, having no chemical residues after treatment, and cost effectiveness.”

The research summary quantifies the effectiveness of the technology, which found across-the-board reduction in spoilage-causing microbes in chicken breasts packed in air, including: Campylobacter (reduced by more than 90 percent) and Salmonella (by 60 percent). Similar reductions in Campylobacter were found in breast meat packed in oxygen and carbon dioxide atmospheres but there were no reductions in Salmonella levels. The appearance of ozone-enhanced products was affected, as the product color was reported to be lighter or paler after storage while changes in pH and drip loss were not significant.    

Achieving optimum results using the CP technology requires 60 kilovolts for 60 seconds and the ideal packaging atmosphere is 35 percent oxygen, 60 percent carbon dioxide and 5 percent nitrogen.

The research summary concludes: “The expected reduction is more than 90 percent in spoilage microbes and Campylobacter and 60 percent in Salmonella after five days of storage at refrigerated temperature.

Looking for an ozone system for poultry or food processing? Follow link below for information on what we can offer:

https://www.oxidationtech.com/products/ozone-water-system.html

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:

https://www.oxidationtech.com/applications/agri-food.html

Ozone used for sanitation in fish processing plant

Beaver Street adopts new Ozone sanitation system

In a bid to enhance its environmental sustainability, Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc. is adopting a new Ozone International sanitation system as its primary sanitizing solution for food contact surfaces.

The system is being installed in its meat room, Sea Best facilities and Tropic Seafood lobster operations in the Bahamas.

Ozone provides great advantages, including reduction of bacteria, extended shelf life of products and reduced odor, the company said in a release on Monday.

BSF is utilizing Ozone International’s aqueous sanitation solution. This system pulls in air and produces chemical reactions that strip the air down to pure oxygen atoms. These atoms recombine into O3, or ozone, which is one of nature’s most powerful oxidizers. Once injected into the water stream and applied as a sanitizer, the ozone compounds combine with and destroy viruses, bacteria, molds, mildew and other contaminants.

The implementation of the Ozone International sanitation solution is another step in Beaver Street Fisheries’ longstanding and ongoing commitment to providing superior product to our customers from environmentally sound facilities,” said Casey Marion, BSF director of sustainability initiatives and quality management systems, said. “Ozone is a safer cleaning solution for our employees, our seafood products and our customers.”

As a result of its composition of pure oxygen, ozone provides a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional food processing industry cleaners like chlorine and ammonia, the company said.

OXS Ozone Water System
ozone water treatment system used for surface sanitation

Ozone water is less likely to have dangerous reactions with other compounds, and leaves no harmful residue on the skin, in treated foods or the processing water. Other benefits of ozone as a sanitation solution are that it destroys microorganisms at a much faster rate than other chemical cleaners, there is no harmful residue that needs to be removed from wastewater after treatment, and there is no organism regrowth, unlike with chlorine and other cleaners.

Ozone is used in food processing for a variety of applications!

With chemicals, if you use too little it’s not effective but if you use too much, it adulterates the product,” concluded Marion. “Ozone is available on demand and works exceptionally well, leaving no residue.”

Ozone has been used for sanitation purposes since as early as 1893; and for the past 12 years Ozone International has provided this proven process to establish quality and safety within the food industry. In 2001, ozone received USDA and FDA approval as a food contact surface disinfectant and for direct contact food surface disinfection.

Read original story here

New point of use Ozone Injection System

A brand new ozone injection system to the market, the OXS-8 and OXS-16.

ozone water system
8 g/hr Ozone Water System

The OXS-8 will produce 8 g/hr of ozone to dissolve in up to 20 GPM of water.  Water flows up to 10 GPM will contain an ozone residual of 2.0 PPM.  Sufficient ozone levels for surface sanitation, most food processing applications, and other point of use (POU) ozone applications.

Review diagram below for complete breakdown of components and operation of the OXS-8 Ozone Water System.

Ozone Water System
OXS-8 Ozone Water System Diagram

The OXS-8 Ozone Water System will produce ozone from oxygen, via the integrated oxygen concentrator.  Ozone will be dissolved into water efficiently using a mazzei injector, dedicated ozone injection pump, and ozone mixing tank.

All components necessary for operation are installed on one convenient skid that is ready to use upon delivery.  Simply plumb water in, water out, and electrical power.

For questions on your potential ozone applications, please contact our ozone experts today!

 

 

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.

 

Ozone to conserve water in restaurants

Ozone use is finding more and more small scale applications.  Traditionally ozone has been used in large water treatment plants for drinking water and wastewater treatment.  As the technology improves and becomes more mainstream new applications for ozone continue to grab hold.

EnviroPure has developed a great application for ozone to conserve water in food waste disposal systems.  In fact the National Restaurant Association (NRA) have given an award to Enviropure for this system.

To see more applications for ozone follow this link.

EnviroPure receives NRA innovation award, expected to save restaurants 400 gallons of water a day

April 22, 2015

Commercial foodservice and plumbing product manufacturer T&S Brass and Bronze Works announced the National Restaurant Association awarded the company the Kitchen Innovations Award for its new EnviroPure ozone recirculation option. The product is designed to eliminate the need to add fresh water during the organic food waste disposal system’s digestive process. The ozone recirculation option relies on naturally-extracted water from food waste as it processes through the system, breaking down food waste within 24 hours, the company said in the announcement.

Through a combination of mechanical processing and aerobic decomposition, an all-natural, micronutrient additive accelerates the digestive process, turning the food waste into a safe grey water byproduct that meets municipal wastewater requirements. The grey water is infused with ozone, which acts as a cleansing agent, the release said. The purified water then recirculates in a bubbler tank until further needed. Excess water can be used for irrigation or other non-potable purposes.

“A typical foodservice operation could expect to save about 400 gallons of water a day using this ozone infusion option,” said Jim Slanina, president of EnviroPure. “At a time when we’re beginning to realize water is not an unlimited resource, we think this will be a welcome innovation.”

Ozone use for fruit growers in New Zealand

NZ fruit growers embrace ozone tech for healthy orchards

After a successful trial on a kiwifruit orchard in New Zealand, an ozone technology that encourages plant health has been embraced by producers including Turners & Growers (NZX: TUR). While OA-Global director Brendon Spencer emphasizes his company’s ozone-based overhead spraying system is not a cure for vine disease Psa, it has great potential for fighting bacteria across different fruit crops. The executive now hopes Chilean growers will embrace the innovation, and is also curious to see how it will go in counteracting botrytis in grapes.

Spencer is right when he says the results of the technology have been “staggering”, citing a trial that began 18 months ago on a two-hectare Hort16A (marketed as Zespri Gold) farm in Katikati on New Zealand’s North Island.

OA-Global Overhead Spray System

“When this orchard in New Zealand had the choice of deciding what to do in relation to Psa, they could have cut it out to the Bruno rootstock and re-grafted it, they could have tried one more year with copper sprays, or have done something different,” Spencer says.

“He chose ‘different’ and it paid for itself.”

Looking at the orchard’s historical data, it reached an export percentage peak of 88% before Psa damages forced a gradual fall down to 77.5% in 2013. After ozone technology was introduced, this year’s harvest yielded an export percentage of 93.51%.

“We never held out any hope that ozone would cure Psa and I don’t believe that it does, but what it does do is it enables the plant to suppress Psa and its effects to the point where the plant becomes healthier, leaf size is bigger, there is absolutely no outward appearance of Psa, and when the fruit was picked it was in better condition, less undersized than in previous years, and there were larger export percentages.

“So that’s been very welcomed by the fruit industry in New Zealand, and Turners & Growers have now put ozone, as have a number of other companies, into kiwifruit orchards as a result of that trial.”

He says ozone treatment also reduces the need for fungicides and herbicides, as well as the use of copper spraying.

“With the increase of ozone we were  able to eliminate other treatments. For example, in New Zealand we have a problem with cicadas with hundreds of thousands of them before picking – they poo on the leaves, and that turns to fungus which causes leaf rolling.

“To get rid of cicadas and leaf rolling in the orchards, you normally spray the orchards with citric acid. But because there’s ozone already in there, we didn’t need to do that. They stayed away.

Click HERE to learn more about ozone and food applications

Ozone technology and protecting plant wounds

But how does ozone technology work? When ozone comes into contact with a microorganism, the weakly bonded atom oxidizes the cell membrane, causing cell destruction before that bond breaks off and leaves oxygen as a by-product.

“It would appear that ozone induces the plant to produce salicylic acid, which is an in-house immune system of the plant which helps it fight against pathogens and wounds,” says Spencer.

“When you’re in an orchard environment the plant naturally comes into contact with a number of wounds, like when you pick, prune, or if you’ve got leaf drop.

“The plant is continually having its surfaces broken, and when that happens you make the plant susceptible to any outside environment which is harmful to it, including in this case Psa which is an airborne pathogen.”

To clarify the last point, Spencer claims the frequent association of the vine disease with rain and wetter regions is incorrect.

“Zespri have found it 7km up in a weather balloon; it’s airborne, and it’s circulating the globe. It is an air-transmitted pathogen without a doubt,” he says.

A call for Chilean trials

Spencer now calls Santiago de Chile home, and has experienced some success with a variety of ozone-based products in the South American country. However, he sees great promise to repeat the positive performance of the overhead spraying system in kiwifruit orchards.

“There have been a lot of gold orchards already cut out of Chile because of Psa; it’s killed them. Many people have lost their livelihoods as far as kiwifruit orchards are concerned, and they’re opting for other alternatives such as blueberries and cherries.

“I’m not saying this is the silver bullet for Psa, but what I am saying is that with ozone plants will have the ability to fight Psa and not be affected by Psa.”

Spencer thanks Chilean Kiwifruit Committee president Carlos Cruzat for his help with the new venture, but is waiting for a grower who is willing to take on a trial similar to the one that took place in Katikati.

“We’ve got an excellent relationship with the Chilean Kiwifruit Committee. Carlos Cruzat has been very good to me since I’ve been here, and he’s tried really hard to get me an orchard to do a trial.

“Chile would need to write its own protocol on how to apply ozone in an aqueous phase or application, because I don’t know whether the aqueous spraying system would work as efficiently here due to the high humidity and the hotter weather, so we would need to block a trial,” he says, adding the trial needn’t be limited to gold varieties and could also involve green Hayward kiwifruit.

“We are progressive and would like the opportunity to trial that out…we know that it works. It’s worked very well in New Zealand, it’s been embraced by the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.”

Spencer believes financial reasons and weather-related pressures may be behind the fact he hasn’t yet sealed a trial in the country.

“It’s not insurmountable but there is a cost. I think the price per tray is lower in Chile than in New Zealand, so the returns on the orchard aren’t as high, which puts restrictions on any financial expenditure that an orchard would need to come up with to pay for ozone.

“So it’s relative, but if you had a kiwifruit orchard that was overrun with Psa, you cut it out and put something else in, you’re looking at three or four years before you’re going to start to get a yield off the next crop anyway.

“Last year Chile was hit by heavy frosts for three days, and this year it had two days of frosts of which one was bad in particular.”

OA-Global is also doing trials with wine grapes in New Zealand to investigate how it works with botrytis. Spencer calls on Chilean viticulturalists to come on board for a trial as well, and is also open to trials on a range of different fruits around the world where people are interested.

New product in Chile

Spencer also highlights the company’s refrigerated container units have just arrived in Chile, designed with the same principles to ward off bacteria from fruit as it is transported around the globe.

“Chile has a long transit time to market, but we’re now putting these units in containers,” he says.

“It’s retrofitted into a carrier container, produces ozone and uses the circulation system of the refrigerated unit of the container.

“There are multiple settings for it for different fruit types; it’s very small and compact, and it is inexpensive. It’s actually half the cost of the competitor.”

He says the product weighs just 1.2kg (2.64lbs) and has been proven to work very well with blueberries, grapes, apples and kiwifruit.

“We’re still conducting trials for cherries.”

Click HERE to learn more about ozone and food applications