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Food preservation and air sterilisation solution

03 April 2017

Food Processing looks at a commercial odour control, air sterilisation and purification solution aimed at the food manufacturing sector. 

Bio-Oxygen is an oxygen-based air sterilisation system that has recently been brought to the UK by Australian company Bio-Oxygen, and which is believed to be the only air sterilisation system that is able to guarantee odour free results along with 99% elimination of viruses and bacteria. 

The system could offer particular benefits for fruit and vegetable processing companies where, during ripening, fruit and vegetables give off Ethylene gas. This, in turn, acts as a catalyst and speeds up the ripening process. Cool rooms are enclosed rooms and as the Ethylene gas concentration builds up, the ripening speed of fruit and vegetables increases proportionally to the concentration of Ethylene gas in the room.

Ranyae Fernandes, from Bio-Oxygen, explains further: “The oxygen clusters oxidise the Ethylene gas on contact in five to 15 seconds and because there is virtually no Ethylene gas in the cold room anymore, the ripening process is retarded and fruit such as bananas, tomatoes, avocados, peaches, mangoes and pears can literally be kept in a suspended animation for months, in some cases.”

Oxygen clusters also kill bacteria, fungus, yeast, mould, mildew, spores, viruses, protozoa and other organisms that help prevent the produce from rotting. “Even bruised, cut, squashed or damaged fruit does not rot,” claims Fernandes.

The system can also offer benefits in cheese and meat-based product processes as food products sterilised with the Bio-Oxygen process will keep for months not days in cold room storage. Fresh meat can, for example keep for four months or longer. “Bio-Oxygen prevents salami and cheese from becoming overgrown with white and green mould during the fermentation process without affecting the fermentation and the taste and flavour,” said Fernandez. “When the salami and cheese come out of fermentation or maturing room, they are completely clean. The salami does not have to be washed and the cheese wheels do not have to be peeled. Washing the salami and peeling the cheese wheels is labour intensive and non-productive. In addition to that, the cheese peel is thrown away and is a total loss. In the process of course the cheese wheels get smaller and smaller. This is not commercially viable,” continues Fernandez.

The process can also prevent tainting of food with other food odours and flavours, allowing different foods to be stored in a single holding room. 

Bio-Oxygen removes odours, gases and chemicals in the air in less than 15 seconds.  It actively kills bacteria, fungi, yeast, mould, mildew, protozoa, and viruses. So how does it work? The Bio-Oxygen process emulates nature, whereby electrons magnetise oxygen gas, making a series of active oxygen molecules, which fight and kill viruses and bacteria in the air. The Bio-Oxygen process replicate the active paramagnetic function of oxygen, creating the sun’s role in the production of electrons and bringing the freshness of outside air indoors.

With Bio-Oxygen connected, electrons are generated and pressurised inside the electrode tubes of the device. These electrons are then emitted in the form of an electron shower. When the fresh air stream passes through the spray of electrons, the oxygen molecules absorb the electrons and they become active magnetic particles that work to rid and purify the air around them.

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