Application of ozone for the postharvest treatment of fruits and vegetables

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
S Horvitz, M J Cantalejo

Abstract

Fruits and vegetables consumption has risen noticeably during recent decades, leading to a greater frequency of foodborne illnesses associated with fresh produce. Novel industrial applications and improvements in ozone technology together with new regulatory actions worldwide have emerged in recent years, making its use in the food industry easier. This technology has attracted considerable commercial interest, especially because ozone does not leave any residues on the treated produce and it is also accepted by many organic grower organizations. However, discrepancies regarding the efficacy of this technology are often found in the bibliography and further research is still needed. These differences could be attributed to a great variability in the conditions of the research work: method of ozone generation and application, O3 concentration and exposure time to the gas, as well as the way in which produce is packed. In this sense, standardization in the working conditions and in the units to measure ozone concentration will be useful to better understand the mode of action and the effects of ozone on food products. Consequently, it would be possible to improve its potential as a sanitizer in the food industry.

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