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A quick and environmentally friendly method for washing of fruit and vegetables – Ozone

Written by Janice M on . Posted in Food & Beverage

Consumers and regulators are concerned about the safety of fruits, vegetables, salad and other ready-to-eat products. This includes preventing contamination from both pathogens and chemical contaminants. In South Africa, chlorine is often used to disinfect the wash water for salads.

The use of chlorine can lead to contamination of the product with chlorinated chemicals. As a matter of fact, the European Union has significantly restricted the use of chlorine for fruit and vegetable washing for this reason. Many leading global fruit and vegetable packagers have switched their disinfection to ozone and have installed ozone generators.

Ozone is a more powerful initial disinfectant than chlorine, chlorine dioxide or peracetic acid. It is effective against a wide range of pathogens including bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, giardia, etc. More importantly, ozone has a lifetime of only 10- 20 minutes in the water, after which time it breaks down to oxygen. Therefore, it does not leave behind harmful by-products as do chlorine or chlorine dioxide. This prevents contamination of the produce with chlorine by-products and also allows for easy discharge of the used wash water.

Benefits of Ozone Treatment of Wash Water:

  • Greater Shelf Life – Reduced counts of bacteria which lead to food spoilage increases shelf life and shipping distances
  • Lower Water Requirements and Support Water Recycling – When combined with filtration, ozonation can increase the amount of time water can be used before it must be discharged versus similar operations using chlorine. This is because, besides being an outstanding disinfectant, ozone can oxidize organic contaminants in the flume water. In addition, ozone has a micro flocculent activity which enhances filtration
  • Reduce Pesticide and other Chemical Residuals on Food – The chemical oxidizing action of ozone can breakdown toxic chemicals such as pesticides on food making them biodegradable

Selectech Ozone Generators:

Affordable, South African manufactured and SABS approved Ozone Generators are available in different sizes to suit a variety of production areas. If you would like a quotation, email Us and briefly describe your business.

Measurement of Ozone Levels:

The Lovibond® Ozone MD200 Photometer can be used to provide digital measurements of ozone levels in water for quality assurance.


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