Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ozone reduces fungal spoilage of fruits and vegetables

11.04.2011
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:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>