Studies indicate that utilizing ozone sterilization in beef can enhance meat storage quality, reduce the count of aerobic, mesophilic, coliform, and sulfite-reducing anaerobic bacteria, and prolong the meat’s shelf life.

Research has concluded that rinsing carcasses with ozonized water results in a greater reduction in the total count of aerobic organisms compared to traditional washing methods.

Observations indicate that employing 10-20 μg/L ozone in storage facilities can extend the shelf life of carcasses by 30 to 40%. In a separate investigation, the impact of ozone sterilization on microorganisms present on the surface of meat was examined. The findings revealed that storing meat at 2.5-6°C and 92-95% relative humidity with ozone prevented the growth of various genera in the Enterobacteriaceae family.

Once more, in a study where cattle carcasses were continuously exposed to ozone for 9 days at 1.6°C and 95% relative humidity (0.03 ppm), it was discovered that ozone sterilization inhibited microbial growth on the carcass surface. Additionally, another investigation revealed that ozone treatment in refrigerated beef halted surface microbial growth for several days, enhanced sensory quality, and reduced the formation of volatile nitrogenous compounds.

Even when used in low concentrations and for a short duration, ozone sterilization exhibits an antimicrobial impact on bacteria, mold, yeast, parasites, and viruses.

Increasing the duration of ozone exposure and reducing the pH and temperature have been found to result in more effective inactivation. Furthermore, while ozone promotes lipid oxidation, it does not alter the sensory characteristics or color of the carcass, nor does it produce any undesired odors. Ozone sterilization also extends the shelf life of meat.

ozone sterilization

12 Ways for Ozone Sterilization to Improve Beef Processing Plant

Ozone sterilization can find its application in:

  • Hand, boot, gloves and knives
  • Fork Lift Wheel
  • Plant sanitation
  • Hand and arm washing system
  • Waste treatment system
  • Wall-mounted cooler
  • Sanitiser glycol tank
  • Zero-Discharge recycle cooling tower System
  • Well water
  • Effluence from holding pen before discharging to sewer drains
  • Carcasses

Ozone is Approved to be Effective

According to studies, ozone is the most powerful antimicrobial agent identified, capable of eliminating E. coli 3,125 times more rapidly than chlorine. Additionally, ozone transforms into regular oxygen following the treatment, without leaving any chemical residues.

The utilization of ozone sterilization in the beef industry presents several benefits. Its efficacy at room temperature matches that of ultra-hot water, and water treated with ozone can be efficiently reused with minimal filtration. Additionally, ozonated water can be applied in any area of a packaging or processing plant.

Low-level ozonated water can be utilized wherever water is transported through pipes. In addition to coming into contact with food products, higher concentrations of ozonated water can be employed to clean equipment, conveyor belts, hooks, and similar items.

Ozone sterilization eliminates pathogens by oxidizing and attacking the cell walls and mucous membranes of the organisms.

The gram-positive or gram-negative status, spore activity, or amoeba-type of microorganisms do not matter when it comes to the efficacy of ozone. All pathogens have double-carbon bonds that hold their molecular structure together, and exposure to ozone renders them not just benign in the water, but completely evaporated. This is because ozone breaks down the molecular chain until it is reduced to carbon dioxide and water. The use of ozone sterilization in the beef industry is authorized and has been demonstrating positive outcomes for equipment sanitation and food product disinfection for beef processors.