The Evidence

Extensive research has confirmed the ability of O3, also known as ozone, to effectively inactivate or significantly slow the growth of many types of bacteria that cause degradation and decay of fresh fruits and vegetables. The FDA approved the use of ozone with food products, food storage, and food processing in 2001.

FDA Approval Citation: Federal Register VOL 66, No 123, Tuesday June 26, 2001.  The Rules and Regulations appear in Part 21 CFR Part 173 pp 33829-33830.

The microorganisms referenced on our website to accelerate food spoilage include Pseudomonas fluorescens, Escherichia coli O157: H7, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, and Listeria monocytogenes based on the scientific studies cited below.  A comprehensive, 1500 page petition citing hundreds of published scientific studies contributed to the approval for use of ozone with food products, food storage and food processing.


Effects of Ozone Treatment on Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Relation to Horticultural Product Quality

Authors: Deana Sharpe, Lihua Fan, Ken McRae, Brad Walker, Ron MacKay, Craig Doucette

First published: 26 June 2009

DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01234.x

Cited by: 16 articles

Volume 74, Issue 6
August 2009
Pages M250–M257

ABSTRACT: Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum are fungal pathogens that cause the decay of many fruits and vegetables. Ozone may be used as an antimicrobial agent to control the decay. The effect of gaseous ozone on spore viability of B. cinerea and mycelial growth of B. cinerea and S. sclerotiorum were investigated. Spore viability of B. cinerea was reduced by over 99.5% (P < 0.01) and height of the aerial mycelium was reduced from 4.7 mm in the control to less than 1 mm after exposure to 450 or 600 ppb ozone for 48 h at 20 °C. Sporulation of B. cinerea was also substantially inhibited by ozone treatments. However, ozone had no significant effect on mycelial growth of S. sclerotiorum in vitro. Decay and quality parameters including color, chlorophyll fluorescence (CF), and ozone injury were further assessed for various horticultural commodities (apple, grape, highbush blueberry, and carrot) treated with 450 ppb of ozone for 48 h at 20 °C over a period of 12 d. Lesion size and height of the aerial mycelium were significantly reduced by the ozone treatment on carrots inoculated with mycelial agar plugs of B. cinerea or S. sclerotiorum. Lesion size was also reduced on treated apples inoculated with 5 × 106 spores/mL of B. cinerea, and decay incidence of treated grapes was reduced. The 450 ppb ozone for 48 h treatment had no significant effect on color of carrots and apples or on CF of apples and grapes. Ozone, an environmentally sound antimicrobial agent, inactivates microorganisms through oxidization and residual ozone spontaneously decomposes to nontoxic products. It may be applied to fruits and vegetables to reduce decay and extend shelf life.


Inactivation Kinetics of Foodborne Spoilage and Pathogenic Bacteria by Ozone

Authors: J.-G. Kim, A.E. Yousef

First published: April 2000

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2000.tb16040.x

Cited by: 58 articles

Volume 65, Issue 3
April 2000 
Pages 521–528

ABSTRACT: Ozone was tested against Pseudomonas fluorescens, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, and Listeria monocytogenes. When kinetic data from a batch reactor were fitted to a dose-response model, a 2-phased linear relationship was observed. A continuous ozone reactor was developed to ensure a uniform exposure of bacterial cells to ozone and a constant concentration of ozone during the treatment. Survivors plots in the continuous system were linear initially, followed by a concave downward pattern. Exposure of bacteria to ozone at 2.5 ppm for 40 s caused 5 to 6 log decrease in count. Resistance of tested bacteria to ozone followed this descending order: E. coli O157:H7, P. fluorescens, L. mesenteroides, and L. monocytogenes.