Food safety is one of the most critical elements in food processing. Food requires disinfection at different points in multiple forms because of the inherent food contamination that occurs along the entire production chain.
While chlorine and other chemical disinfectants have been traditionally used to kill microbes in the food production industry, their use is diminishing due to growing concerns of the dangers they impose to workers and the end user, coupled with the need to reuse water for conservation purposes.
Integra Water Technologies’ systems provide you with low pressure sprays that you can easily integrate into your existing wash lines and conveyor systems.
Ozone use is emerging as the ultimate anti-microbial technology since ozone, which is made up of three oxygen atoms, is an excellent chemical oxidant and sanitizer. Ozone is a preferred disinfectant because it is organic, is environmentally friendly, and does not leave any chemical residues upon use.
Ozone gas dissolves in water to form aqueous ozone that companies rely on to safely disinfect and effectively clean floors, walls, drains, cutting tables, equipment, conveyors, rooms, tanks, piping and automated processing units using mobile or centralized systems. Ozone sanitation systems can consist of handheld, low-pressure or dropdown sprayers positioned at different points throughout the food processing plant or carriage.
Aqueous ozone or ozonated ice is well suited to the multiple food preservation interventions of the 21st century. This is because ozone is a potent biocide that, unlike chemical disinfectants that work as systemic poisons for which microbes can build resistive tolerance, disinfects by oxidation processes. It denatures metabolic enzymes and destroys microbial membranes. Because of this unique disinfection mechanism, ozone kills a full spectrum of microbes, none which can develop resistive tolerance to it. These include:
Other than killing microbes, aqueous ozone is also effective in removing dirt alongside biofilms from various surfaces, making it a major contributor towards a cleaner food processing environment.
Ozone is internationally approved as safe for direct food contact. Aqueous ozone is sprayed directly on vegetables, berries, fruits, raw meat, ready-to-eat meat, cheeses, poultry, commercial eggs and fish for preservation. It kills mold and fungus as well as bacteria and other microorganisms responsible for food spoilage – thus improving storage time or shelf-life of these perishable foods.
The citrus fruit industry has used ozonated water for decades to spray the outside skins of these fruits before shipping to kill fungus and mold.
Dissolved in water, ozone has been found to provide up to a 6-log reduction in microorganic plate count within as low as 30 seconds.
Since ozone enriched water does not leave any chemical residue on the food product, ozone systems can be seamlessly integrated into most current conveyer systems. The disinfectant actually helps remove pre-wash residues in certain food products.