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Ozone for Fruit Cleanning

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What Are The Problems Associated With Fruits And Vegetables?

1. The food products have different kinds of Bacteria, pathogens and spoilage microorganisms on their surface and as these grow at a very fast rate the freshness and shelf life of vegetables and fruits is adversely affected.

2.Another major problem with the food product is that large amount of residue of pesticides and insecticide is present on their surface which is not only harmful but objectionable as far as standards are concerned.

What Is The Present Practice?

Generally Chlorine and other chemicals are added to the washing water for the purpose of disinfection. The washing water using chemicals leaves harmful by-products e.g. Chloramines & Trihalomethanes etc. which is not only undesirable but use of chemicals is also banned in some applications and the use of chemicals is being phased out fast.

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How Microbial Counts Are Controlled By Ozonated Water?

Ozone is a most efficient Natural Broad-Spectrum Microbiological control substance and very reactive Disinfecting agent. In case the vegetables are washed with strong Ozonated water, not only the microbial load on to the surface get reduced or the Ozonated water destroys any Bacteria, Viruses, Cysts and Pathogens on the surface of food items washed with this water, in a very short duration.

The pesticides (which are long chain organic components) gets oxidized to short chain components and finally into harmless elements. To conclude, the Ozonated water or the strong disinfected water used for washing of vegetables and fruits will make them fresh, longer shelf life and organically harmless.

Today use of Ozonated water is considered by most to be the best available and advanced technology for washing fruits and vegetables, CIP and many other applications and a much better alternative than using chemicals.

What Should Be Ozone Concentration In The Treatment Water?

The Ozonated washing water should have sufficient disinfection power to disinfect the vegetables or the commodity being washed with it. In such an applications Ozone concentration in the wash water should be comparatively higher in the range of 0.2 to 1.0 ppm. Actual concentration required to be maintained depends upon the criticality of application.

How Much Ozone (Gm/Hr) For Washing Water?

The amount of Ozone required to be dosed, into the wash water depends on number of factors e.g. Rate of flow of wash water, Composition of water, Technique of Ozone dissolution, Product being washed, Temperature of water, Initial Bacterial contamination and required micro-biological quality of washed product. For correct estimation a computer programme is generally used however as a thumb rule, 3.0 to 6.0 gm/hr Ozone is needed for a flow rate of 1,000 lit/hr.

What Are The Methods Of Ozone Washing?

High Ozone concentration water (0.25 to 1.0 ppm) is used for the purpose of washing fruits or vegetables. Special techniques are used for mixing Ozone into the water for this application. Following two types of Systems are generally utilized:

Washing of vegetables and fruits in an open tray :

Vegetables and fruits are required to be washed in an open tray by using spray of strong Ozonated water. The proposed System will produce strong Ozonated water available in a spray nozzle.

The System consist of a storage tank equipped with a water pressure booster pump which draws water from the tank, pass it through the Ventury Injector (where the Ozone is injected) and later a Static Mixer (for improving Ozone dissolution) and the Ozonated water is returned into a tank through a central diffuser.

There are two Solenoid Valves which control the flow of Ozonated water for washing or re-circulation for increasing the Ozone concentration in the water. At washing nozzle a push button is installed that changes the configuration of water flow from re-circulation to washing and back to re-circulation

Washing of vegetables & fruits in washing tank :

There is another system in which vegetables and fruits are kept in a Stainless Steel basket and the basket is dipped in a special washing tank. Water is drawn from the bottom portion of the washing tank, pressurize by a booster pump, pass through a Ventury injector, a static mixer and later the ozonated water is injected inside the tank on one side so that the complete water in the tank is continuously agitated.

The tray with fruits and vegetables is kept in the washing tank, system is started for pre determined time and after the set duration the tray is lifted and vegetables or fruits shifted to another location.

What are the information Necessary to design a Ozonated Wash Water System?

  • Food item e.g. Fruits, Dry fruits, Vegetables, meat, fishes etc.
  • Composition of water (TDS, Hardness, Iron & Manganese) used for washing
  • Maximum flow rate of washing water and the maximum consumption per day
  • Lay out and location of the wash water storage tank
  • If any pump is utilized for pressurizing the water,
  • Sources of supply of water.
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