Extended Shelf Life
Ozone is the strongest natural Oxidants for sanitation and disinfection. It can effectively destroy 99.9% of all known germs, bacteria and viruses found on all food products. The largest benefit of Ozone is its pure character. It only oxidizes substances, and as a result byproduct formation rarely occurs making it the ideal choice for sanitation and shelf life extension on food products.
In the U.S.A. Ozone was certified as G.R.A.S - („generally recognised as safe“ ) from 1997 and officially certified by the US FDA-(The United States Food and Drug Administration), for use in the food industry and to be in direct contact with food, including fish, meats and poultry. In recent year the technology of Ozone production has improved resulting in greater efficiency at lower price. Ozone is gaining a reputation in the food industry as the safe and economical way to insure and control food safety. Ozone has recently been certified in the USA for use on organic labeled food products.
Developments in Ozone production technology and experience in correct Ozone methods on food have promoted better food quality, increased production yield and extended shelf life. The latest research on ozone treatment on fish has shown that by using the right Ozone methods, the Ozone treatment does not oxidise fats or lower protein content but on the contrary it will minimise liquid loss (Drip) and maintain higher protein content in the product. Research has shown that with fish and fish products a 30%-80% increase in storage life is possible and liquid loss went form 10% down to 4% with the use of Ozone.
Notable conclusions from research:
- After 4 days at 3°C - at 65% humidity, „Drip“ was measured at 10% -but with 85%humidity, using Ozone treatment, „Drip“ was measured at 4% (Tapp and Soher,2002).
- With the use of Ozone and Ozone purified ice the storage life of quality sardines was increased from 5 days to 8 days.
Using medium quality sardines the storage increased from 15 days to 19 days. (Campos,et al).
- With Salmon that was iced with Ozone purified ice, the storage life increased from 4 days to 6 days when compared to non Ozone treated ice. These results led to the producer in question to setting up a fully equipped Ozone purification system in there factory achieving 33-50% increase in storage life of their product (Blogoslawski, et al).
- Atlantic Catfish fillets worked with Ozone blended water acheived a 14 day storage life in comparison with a 4-6 day storage life using normal water. On this occassion a 100% incrase in storage life was achieved (Brooks and Pierce).
- Squid, kept in Ozone blended ice increased its storagelife by 12% and had a 2log decrease in plate measurement of airborn bacteria in comparison with squid kept in traditional ice- chippings, without ozone treatment (Blogoslawski et al).
- Research has shown that Ozone blended ice can maintain ozone for many hours even days. The melting ice can still contain traces of Ozone to kill bacteria and lengthen the product storage life (Rice, et al).
- N.B. The main benefit is to have clean bacteria and germ free ice and ice machine so no contamination comes from the melting ice to the food products, if some traces of ozone are still in the melting ice it is just an extra benefit to extend shelf life even further.