Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Ozone reduces fungal spoilage of fruits and vegetables

Storing fruits and vegetables in ozone-enriched environments reduces spoilage explains a scientist at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Harrogate. Dr Ian Singleton explains how ozone treatment could be a safe, effective replacement for pesticides as it leaves no residue on foods.

It is estimated that up to 30% of fresh produce can be lost due to microbial spoilage. Dr Singleton from Newcastle University explains that low levels of gaseous ozone are able to prevent fungal spoilage in a wide range of stored fresh produce, including strawberries, tomatoes, grapes and plums.

His work has shown that enriching the storage environment with ozone causes a substantial decline in fungal spore production as well as a reduction in visible lesions on fruits that are already infected. Fruit stored at low levels of ozone for up to 8 days prevented almost 95% of disease from developing, depending on the fruit and levels of fungal infection.

Fungal contamination is the most common cause of spoilage of stored fruit, salads and vegetables and the risk of microbial contamination increases with longer storage periods. From the 1950s onwards, heat treatment was replaced with cheap and effective synthetic fungicides, often used in combination with pre-pack sanitation treatment containing chlorine or bromine.

Dr Singleton explains why alternative methods to reduce fungal spoilage are needed. "There are public concerns over pesticide residues on fresh produce. Ozone is a viable alternative to pesticides as it is safe to use and effective against a wide spectrum of micro-organisms. Importantly, it leaves no detectable residues in contrast to traditional methods of preserving fresh produce."

Interestingly, Dr Singleton's team found that exposing tomatoes to ozone before infecting them with fungus also reduced spoilage. "This suggests that ozone treatment exerts a 'memory' or 'vaccination' effect that protects fruit from damage. It is unclear how this phenomenon works, but is certainly worthy of further, detailed investigation," suggested Dr Singleton.

Careful work is also needed to optimize levels of ozone and length of exposure for each variety of produce. "Different fruits have been shown to have different tolerances for ozone. We need to look carefully at how we control the atmospheric concentration of the gas in stores and transit containers, since levels of ozone that are too high can damage produce, causing financial losses".

Laura Udakis | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>