January 20, 2018

Scottish Ozone Machine Kills Food Poisoning Bacteria

Researchers in Scotland have invented a machine that uses the natural germ-killing properties of ozone to kill food-borne bacteria without using chemicals or requiring changes to current food packaging materials. When held against the surface of plastic or glass packaging, the device blasts oxygen molecules, temporarily turning them into ozone molecules which destroy the bacteria. After a few hours, the molecules revert back to oxygen molecules.

The research team, which includes Dr Hugh Potts, Ian Muirhead and Dr Declan Diver, believes the device can also extend shelf life of products by a day. The product is bring brought to market by a University of Glasgow spinoff company called Anacail, the Gaelic word for shield.

“We’re very excited about the applications of our product. It’s safe and easy to use, doesn’t require any change in current packaging of food products to be effective, and it doesn’t require any chemical additives – the sterilisation effect comes directly from oxygen already in the package which is treated by our plasma head,” Anacail Chief Executive Officer Dr Ian Muirhead said in a statement. “Although ozone can be harmful to humans, it has a very limited lifespan before it returns to oxygen and it doesn’t leave behind any dangerous residues so it’s perfectly safe to use in food decontamination. It’s a very effective way to destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses,” he said. The company is looking for  development partners.

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