Texan company Lynntech recieved US patent 6171625 for its improved method of food decontamination by treatment with ozone, on 6 January. The invention was made with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture. It covers foodgrain treatment using humid ozone.

Others active in this field include Japan Food Industry Association, Engelhard Corporation, American Water Purification, J. M. Smucker, and MBA Consultant.

Abstract:

    The present invention provides a system for the decontamination of agricultural products by reacting the toxins and microorganisms, contaminating the product, with ozone. The ozone is generated on site and upon demand, thus eliminating ozone waste associated with long periods of ozone storage. The systems of the invention provide efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly use of ozone for product decontamination by optimizing the delivery of ozone to the contaminated product, monitoring and controlling the pressure in the treatment systems, monitoring and controlling the heat generated during the treatment of contaminated product with ozone, and controlling ozone release into the atmosphere.

First (of 17) Claims:

  1. A method for treating an agricultural product with ozone comprising the steps of:

    introducing a stream of humid ozone-containing gas into a chamber containing the agricultural product;
    monitoring the humidity of the ozone-containing gas within at least one portion of the chamber containing the agricultural product; and
    adjusting the humidity of the humid ozone-containing gas stream before the gas stream enters the chamber to maintain the humidity of the ozone-containg gas in the chamber within a desired range.

By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent