Risks from microbial contamination and the potential to form toxic by-products during disinfection with chlorinated compounds are concerns in the food industry. Ozone, being widely used as an alternative disinfectant to chlorine in water treatment, has been demonstrated to be a promising technology, which could be used in food industry to ensure microbial safety and quality of foods. It has powerful disinfecting ability, high reactivity and spontaneously decomposes to non-toxic oxygen. To properly apply this technology in practice, research is needed to quantify the effectiveness of ozonation for different food products under different scenarios and provide the necessary design protocols. <BR> <BR> Thus, the research objectives of this project include:<ul>
<li>To expand the knowledge of ozone application for food processing industry by using fresh strawberry and green pepper grown with E. coli O157:H7, Listeria spp. and Salmonella spp. respectively.
<li>To quantify the inactivation kinetics for different bacterial contaminants under more realistic conditions by varying bacterial growth conditions.
<li>To conduct semi-batch tests so that the results from the laboratory batch testing can be compared and verified further.
<li>To evaluate different dissolution technologies that can be used for food processing.
<li>To modify and verify the applicability of the integrated ozonation process model developed by the principal investigator for food processing.
<li>To provide the regulatory and design guide lines that can achieve effective controlling of microbial risks while maintaining the economic competitiveness. </ul>
Expected Impact of Project Outcomes on Food Safety in Ontario: <BR> The results of this research may provide Ontario food processors with a new preservation technology based on the use of ozone as a disinfectant. As well, the effectiveness, limitations and operating protocols of ozone application in food applications will be summarized. The technology also has the potential to reduce wastewater generation via processing water reuse. <P> For more information, please visit the <a href="http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/foodsafety/index.html" target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Food Safety Research Program</a>.