Food and Beverage Ozone Applications
Ozone was approved by the USDA Organic Rule in 2000 and by the FDA as an additive to kill food-borne pathogens in 2001 (Final Ruling). These approvals opened the floodgates for food processors to begin utilizing ozone in their plants. Today, ozone technology is steadily replacing conventional sanitation techniques (i.e. halogenated chemicals, steam, hot water, etc.) and becoming a major player in the food and beverage sanitation.
In 1994, McClain Ozone pioneered the use of ozone as a natural sanitizer in the California wine industry. This involved:
- Developing mobile and stationary “ozone-on-demand” sanitation systems.
- Introducing the first Mobile Ozone Sanitation Systems.
- Developing comprehensive aqueous and gaseous sanitation protocols.
- Developing and implementation of safety procedures.
With the approval of ozone by the USDA in 2000 and the FDA in 2001, McClain was in the perfect position to utilize its innovations in ozone technology and equipment along with its extensive experience in ozone sanitation and safety protocols to implement ozone sanitation in the food and beverage industries.
Since 2001, McClain and others have documented the efficacy of ozone sanitation in a wide variety of food and beverage applications. With hundreds of clients worldwide, McClain Ozone is one of the leaders in the production of mobile and stationary ozone sanitation systems for the food and beverage industries. McClain ozone sanitation systems are EPA licensed, NSF approved, OSHA compliant and are designed to meet the needs of any size food and beverage application (Client List available upon request).
Applications of Ozone in the Food and Beverage Industries
Ozone is a single source organic sanitizer which kills a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungus and molds, yeasts, spores and cysts (Organisms Killed by Ozone). Used with proper protocols, ozone provides effective sanitation in many food and beverage applications including the following:
The use of aqueous ozone in the sanitation of containers (i.e. bottles and bottle caps, kegs, vats, tanks, etc.) is a common application of ozone. Ozone, utilized with proper protocols and CT values provides effective and rapid sanitation of containers and tanks(i.e. glass, plastic, poly, wood, stainless, etc.).
In addition, when used in a recirculation mode, ozone can save hundreds of gallons of water during the sanitation process. The breakdown of ozone to oxygen does not result in container or tank damage as is often the case with halogenated chemicals including chlorine. No rinsing after the sanitation is required which reduces time and water usage. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone in containers and tanks have been developed by McClain and are available to McClain clients.
Bottling Line and Filler Sanitation
Conserving water and energy and maintaining bottling line sterility are a major concern for the beverage industry. The unique “cold sterilization” ability of ozone, combined with its non-contaminating qualities and low water use, make it an excellent alternative to chemicals, steam and hot water.
The expansion and contraction of bottling line components created by heat contribute to the long term stress and damage to bottling lines. The use of cold aqueous water eliminates these stresses resulting in less bottling line downtime and maintenance cost. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone in bottling lines have been developed by McClain and are available to McClain clients.
Processing and Transfer Equipment
Sanitizing processing and transfer equipment (i.e. cutting blades, sorting tables and bins, piping, pumps, etc.) is a primary concern in the food and beverage industry. Aqueous ozone can be utilized to quickly sanitize all food processing and transfer equipment to eliminate the movement of unwanted microbes within the facility. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone for equipment sanitation have been developed by McClain and are available to McClain clients.
Sanitizing facility floors, walls, drains and other surfaces with aqueous ozone reduces microbes (fungi, yeast, and bacteria), maintains a sanitary facility, and eliminates background odors. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone for surface sanitation have been developed by McClain and are available to McClain clients.
Air Sanitation and Vector Control
The use of gaseous ozone to control mold, airborne organisms and odors is a common practice in food and beverage facilities. Gaseous ozone has also been shown to control some insects (i.e. fruit flies) which are not only a nuisance but are also major vectors in the movement of microbes around the facility. Protocols for the safe and effective use of gaseous ozone have been developed by McClain and are available to McClain clients.
Other Food and Beverage Applications of Ozone
Ozone’s sanitation capability makes it very valuable in many other areas of food and beverage processing and packaging. As concerns about the health effects of chlorine treatment by-products rise and desire for organic products increase, ozone is gaining an important role in many food and beverage applications, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Wash water sanitation.
- Fruit and vegetable disinfection and storage.
- Poultry washing and chiller water treatment.
- Meat disinfection and storage.
- Spice, nut and seed disinfection and storage.
- Seafood disinfection and shipment.
- Food storage applications to extend shelf-life and prevent pest infestation (grains, potatoes etc).
- Ozonated ice for shipping and extending shelf-life of seafood, and produce.
- Reducing the microbial count in flour.