Food & Hygiene Ozone Treatment

The food and bevarage industry faces a number of challenges in order to advance towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly production. This comprises, among other, reduction of chemical use, water consumption and energy preservation. Ozonetech participates in these advancements by offering an innovative technology which can reduce the environmental foodprint while at the same time improves profitability and product quality.

Sanitation of process equipment

Closed process equipment which comes in contact with fresh or processed food and beverage such as pipes, vessels and evaporators must be kept clean and sanitized in order to maintain proper level of hygiene and work environment. The stongly oxidizing characteristics of ozone makes it a viable complementary cleaning agent and a complete replacement for traditional chemical disinfectants. Typical heat treatment of components such as heat exchangers and valves can also be avoided. Ozone provides this capability in all industrial food and beverage segments such as:

  • Sauce production
  • Dairy producers and milking systems
  • Juice processing
  • Handling of fresh produce like fruit and spices
Ozone application food & beverage sanitation

Conceptualization of Ozonetech's system for sanitation of process equipment in the food and beverage industry.

Filling & packaging

To achieve prolonged post-production durability ozone technology provides effective sanitation of packages and rinsing of bottles, both for beverages, foods, spices and highly viscous fluids such as sauces, ketchup and mustard.

Pipes, vessels & heat exchangers

Any type of process equipment such as piping systems, heat exchangers and storage tanks which are in contact with food product need to be thoroughly sanitized in order to maintain a high level of standards and to avoid spoilage and reduced durability. Ozone can be used a replacement for heat treatment thanks to its powerful disinfection and oxidation potential, especially for heat exchangers, valves and piping which are typically prone to organic fouling and bacterial growth. Ozonetech's system is easily integrated into the exisiting process equipment and can be used both for flow-through type treatment or recirculating cleaning cycles.

Piping system with heat exchanger which can be effectively sanitized with ozone.

Ozonetech's system can be used to avoid typical heat and chemical treatment for sanitation of pipes, valves, heat exchangers and other system components where fouling is likely to occur.

Rinsing & conveyor belts

During handling of fresh produce like tomatoes, potatoes and lettuce it is of utmost importance to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria and other microorganisms that may arise from growth on open process equipment, for example conveyor belts. Upon utilizing ozone as a sanitizer, the only bi-product is oxygen (which is the natural break-down compound of ozone). This makes a solution from Ozonetech an environmentally friendly alternative to ensuring high standards and freshness in the fresh food handling procedures. Thanks to its non-organic, intrinsically natural characteristics, ozone is an ultimate compound for rinsing vegetables, fresh-cuts and other non-processed products.

Ozone rinsing of fresh produce and conveyor belts

Disinfection of open surfaces like conveyor belts are a perfect application for ozone. This guarantees high durability, especially for fresh produce in for example juice production.

Cooling systems

Many food processing facilities are dependent on cooling loops and towers for low temperature storage or direct post-processing cooling. Ice water based cooling systems are prone to microbial growth which clog filters and enhances the risk of legionella outbreaks and general non-hygienic conditions. Ozone technology provides a very efficient way of ridding the system from all potential growth of bacteria and mold. It provides a microbe free environment at with the following benefits:

  • Elimination of biofilm
  • Very low operational cost (between 0.2-0.5 kW total input power depending on the flow and volume of the cooling system)
  • No harmful by-product build-up
  • Very gentle on all materials

Ozonetech possesses experience and deep knowledge in the field of cooling systems. Please go to this section for more information.

Benefits from powerful disinfection and cleaning using ozone

Ozone has an inherently high oxidation potential, in other words, it has a high ability of oxidizing compounds it comes in direct contact with. It generates a series of chemical pathways upon reaction with organic compounds, producing radicals which display an even high oxidation potential compared to ozone itself. This provides very high disinfection capability and complements traditional chemicals when it comes to breaking down residues of fat, proteins and corbo hydrates.

In-situ production

Ozone cannot be stored which is one of its main application benefits. It eliminates the need to store and handle chemicals that are traditionally used for disinfection and cuts the costs for consumables. Ozone is produced from oxygen by exposing a gas feed to a voltage field, called Corona Discharge technology. High concentration ozone is produced by Ozonetech's water cooled and stable system with low power consumption.

Compared to other cleaning and disinfection agents, ozone holds many advantages which are outlined in the table below:

Compound

Benefit

Challenge

Acetic Acid (cleaner)
  • Very effective copper cleaner
  • Rinse water should be applied to avoid oxide deposits which may promote bacterial growth
Chlorine Dioxide and Chloride Hypoclorite (sanitizer)
  • Effective at breaking up organic compounds
  • Low cost sanitizer
  • Relatively low reaction temperature
  • Corrosion may occur, even for stainless steel vessels (SS304 and SS316). 
  • Copper vessels are easily oxidized, leaving copper in the beer
  • May affect the taste of the following brew unless boiled water is used for rinsing
  • If system is not cleaned properly, it will lose its sanitizing ability
Ozone (cleaner, sanitizer)
  • Can be applied cold, thus reducing energy costs
  • Effective oxidizer which removes organic residues and particles
  • Leaves no harmful by-products
  • Produced on-site which eliminates chemical handling
  • Increases shelf-life of product
  • Low consumables (power) cost
  • Very low equipment corrosion
  • For heavily contaminated surfaces, may need to be complemented with secondary cleaning agent
  • Moderate to high investment cost
Sodium Hydroxide (cleaner)
  • Very effective detergent and removes organic residues
  • Removes scorched surfaces
  • Extreme handling caution must be taken to avoid skin and eye damage
  • Very corrosive to aluminum and brass
Paracetic Acid (sanitizer)
  • Readily available sanitizer agent with minimal by-products
  • Relatively low application temperature
  • Shelf-life of beer is reduced
  • Limited storage due to low stability
  • Relatively expensive
  • Smell
Iodophor (sanitizer)
  • Effective sanitizer
  • Keeps the active sanitizer compound (iodine) concentration low
  • Handling precautions must be taken due to its skin and eye irritating characteristics
  • Stains upon exposure
  • May affect flavor
Heat (sanitizer)
  • Potentially effective but requires a prolonged exposure at high temperature
  • High operational costs
  • Time consuming due to heat up and cool down periods

A novel technology for Clean-in-Place (CIP) systems

For closed process equipment in the food and beverage industry, ozone completely eliminates the need for traditional, organic and chlorine based disinfectants. This reduces the consumables cost and handling. It also makes typical CIP cycles more effective:

  • Eliminate the need for final disinfection rinsing thanks to oxygen being the only bi-product. This enables a higher production capacity.
  • Total disinfection time can be reduces owing to the high disinfection potential of ozone compared to traditional organic compounds
  • By ozonating pre-rinse water, the main cleaning phase can be made more effective due to the high oxidation potential of ozone. This may lower the application temperature or the amount of chemicals used.
  • Disinfection volumes can be reused, saving money and securing a lower environmental footprint

These benefits are conceptualized in the image below.

Ozone CIP brewery benefits

Ozonetech improves profitability and production efficiency by cutting Clean-in-Place cycle times by utilizing a more effective and environmentally friendly method of sanitizing tanks, pipes and other process equipment.

Water & wastewater

Since ozone does not leave any harmful by-products, ozonated disinfection water can be reused for other CIP phases, such as pre-rinse. In this respect, ozone disinfection can reduce the water consumption of the whole CIP process. We refer to this as a positive interaction effect. Reduced water consumption means less load on wastewater treatment plants.

Reduce energy consumption

Thanks to the benefits of cold water disinfection, large amounts of energy can be saved, which would otherwize be used to for hot water or vapor. This makes ozone a smart choice both in terms of operational costs and the environment.

Lower chemical consumption and handling

For disinfection, ozone completely eliminates the need for traditional chemical dosing, which lowers the chemical costs. It may be used in combination with cleaning agents to enhance the cleaning efficiency, thereby further reducing the amount of cleaning agents or required water temperatures.

In summary, ozone presents en effective way to keep fresh products and process equipment sanitized, saving water, energy as well as chemical handling and consumables costs. Don't hesitate to contact Ozonetech today if you aspire to move towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly production.

Ozone tech