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Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2011;2:281-98. doi: 10.1146/annurev-food-022510-133637.

Decontamination of raw foods using ozone-based sanitization techniques.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Popular foods such as fresh produce and dry nuts are increasingly implicated in outbreaks of food-transmitted diseases. These products are not amenable to conventional processing technologies; therefore, many alternative decontamination methods are actively investigated. Ozone is a versatile sanitizer with promising applications in some high-risk foods. This antimicrobial agent is active against a broad spectrum of microorganisms, and it can be used effectively in its gaseous or aqueous state. The flexibility afforded by ozone use makes it a viable option for application on easy-to-damage products like fresh produce. If process parameters are adequately controlled, ozone treatment can enhance safety and increase shelf life without adversely affecting product quality. Despite these advantages, ozone may not be suitable for some applications, including treatment of liquid foods and products rich in unsaturated fats and soluble proteins. Ozone, as a powerful oxidizer, must be carefully controlled at all times, and equipment must be rigorously maintained to ensure safety of workers.

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