Ozone is a gas with an extraordinary antimicrobial power, economical to produce and very effective in food processing as a cleaning agent and sterilization. All pathogens or contaminants modified, disinfected or degraded via ozone oxidation process. Ozone is the strongest molecule after fluorine for disinfection and oxidizing power in the treatment of water. Compared with the chlorine, the most widely used chemical agent with water, ozone is 50% stronger, 3125 times faster.
Ozone has bee widely used for over a century in Europe for the purification of drinking water. In America, ozone is mainly used for purifying bottled water and decontaminating cooling towers. Many cities use it to purify drinking water after their filtration plant, including Montreal and Sherbrooke in Quebec.
Since 2001, the year when ozone was awarded GRAS status (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA in the United States, its use has expanded to a variety of application in food industries, horticulture and in all the methods using chlorine or vapor for sterilization and cleaning.
Today, ozone technology is used in processing plants for meat, chicken, seafood and fresh produce, because it is recognized as the most reliable (ecological), economic and has no adverse health effects. The leaders of the food industry have identified the primary reason for the use of ozone - it increases the shelf life of their products. A critical factor for success in the global food economy of the 21st century.
Ozonated water is a non-toxic solution that provides a fresher, healthier product to market by destroying pathogenic microorganisms responsible for food decay and disease transmission. Ozone is a gas made from oxygen. Unlike the diatomic oxygen, triatomic ozone is formed in the presence of oxygen and light. Ozone is produced from lightning and ultraviolet rays naturally in the atmosphere. This gas also forms a protective layer of our planet.
Advantage of Ozone
Ozone protects our planet while being a powerful oxidant. Ozone is extremely effective in killing microorganisms because it oxidizes the cell membrane that bursts under its action. Ozone is more effective and kills a wide variety of pathogens as chlorine, without negative impact on the environment, because it rapidly becomes oxygen.
Chlorine has traditionally been the agent of choice for the sterilization in food indudtries, but experts share a growing concern about the byproducts such as trihalomethanes or dioxins produced when chlorine comes into contact with the organic material in water. These substances are known carcinogens
Studies have shown that ozone is 50% more efficient on the cell membrane and kills bacteria 3125 times faster. In Canada the Canadian Food Inspection Agency CFIA approved the use of ozone as an antimicrobial for food processing plants.
The benefits of ozone are many when used as an antimicrobial on equipment and systems in plants and especially for the health of workers. Its most important applications are the most common:
- Ozone increases the life of the food store
- Ozone is 51% more powerful than chlorine on pathogenic microorganisms
- Ozone is the antimicrobial agent with the broadest spectrum of action of nature
- Ozone eliminates the need for steam sterilizers and conventional
- Ozone eliminates virtually all other chemicals
- Ozone is a chemical and produces no toxic by-product
- Ozone is CFIA approved for direct food contact
- Ozone is clean and healthy for the environment; its only byproduct is oxygen
- Ozone is very effective as a disinfectant even at low concentrations
- Ozone is generated on site and eliminates the need for handling hazardous
- Ozone is economical to produce and can be produced indefinitely
- Ozone is completely safe for employees
- Ozone recycles wastewater or plant waste
- Ozone reduces the biological oxygen demand (BOD).