With the recent focus on healthy eating and living, there has been an increase in consumer demand for fresh produce. The shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables, however, is relatively short and is limited by the loss of textural, visual, and nutritional quality. Although chemicals such as chlorine may seem to preserve the quality of fresh produce, the side effects of these treatments ultimately cause more harm than good. So what is the safest and most effective way to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh? Let’s look at how the use of ozone can extend shelf life.
How it Works
Ozone (O3) is a form of oxygen that has an additional oxygen atom. The oxidizing power of ozone is derived from this third atom which is extremely unstable. With an oxidizing power that is 3,000 times more effective than bleach, ozone is the strongest natural oxidant for sanitation and disinfection. When ozone is introduced to contaminants such as mold and bacteria, it gives off its unstable oxygen atom which combines with organic and inorganic molecules to eliminate them through a process called oxidation.
Since ozone oxidation is a natural process, it is both safe and reliable. Studies show that ozone can effectively eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses found on food products, therefore, extending shelf life significantly. In addition to its strong disinfecting mechanisms, the use of ozone is also environmentally friendly and cost-effective.