Ozone systems are designed to purify water by removing debris, sediment, and bacteria. They can also be used to ensure that food is free from contaminants, and certain systems have also been designed to sanitize areas to make sure they are safe for processing meat and other products. These systems are becoming more popular as the ability of ozone gas to kill harmful microbes such as bacteria becomes more widely known.
Ozone systems are used because ozone gas is over 50 times more powerful than chlorine, the oxidizer most commonly used to sanitize processed food. It kills microbes more than 3,000 times faster than chlorine, and unlike chlorine, it leaves no toxic byproducts behind. Ozone gas works so well as a sanitizer because once it becomes exposed to pollutants like fungi, viruses, and mildew it will react with them, destroying them in the process.
Ozone gas has been used worldwide for more than 100 years to purify water systems. In 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decreed that ozone systems could be used with food as well as water. This has opened the door for food processing plants to use ozone systems to remove bacteria from produce.
Ozone systems can be used on water by pumping water from an outside storage tank through an injector which introduces the gas into the water as it flows past. A stainless steel tank is used to store the water which has just been treated with ozone gas for several minutes. This is to ensure that the transfer of gas to water is successful.
Ozone systems are extremely effective in treating the water of rural areas that are suffering from adverse sanitary conditions. It is not uncommon for small communities to have water that contains sulfur and iron which leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. Ozone gas has been used effectively in numerous neighborhoods where this has been a problem as changing the procedure from large to small scale is easily done.
Poultry is especially susceptible to contamination in the form of salmonella, listeria, and E-coli. Such contaminants cause millions of people to suffer from food poisoning each year with thousands dying because of it. Meat processing plants use ozone systems to ensure that their facilities remove all traces of bacteria. Ozone gas not only destroys microbes faster than any other chemical, but it also turns into oxygen after it has completed its process, which means that no residue remains.