Published in Food Safety
Ozone and other techniques for preventing infestation from insects, fungi, bacteria and spores in grains

Radis S.r.l. has successfully completed its participation in the PON project, entitled "Product and process innovation in the bakery and confectionery industry product supply chain". The company's participation led to the creation of an ozone treatment prototype for grains which can prevent/reduce infestation from fungi, bacteria and spores.

Radis has worked in the pest control industry for many years, treating insect and fungus infestation in buildings and grains. Its features nitrogen-generating systems with molecular sieves for anoxic systems, and it has used dry ice (solid CO2) for many years in the Ecoradis Transit Sistem foodstuff preservation system. The project led to the testing of new techniques and technologies that go beyond those already used by the company.

In particular, the use of ozone was tested (O3): it is a powerful oxidant that reacts fairly easily with compounds, including DON, which has a double bond. The efficacy of ozone against a wide range of microorganisms has been demonstrated, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, fungus spores and bacteria, as reported in several publications reviewed by Tiwari et al., 2010. These advantages, combined with the fact that ozone has been classified as "generally recognised as safe" (GRAS), make this gas very appealing to the food industry (Graham, 1997). However, ozone is unstable and naturally decays into diatomic oxygen (O2), so it must be continually added to the environments being treated to maintain concentrations which are suitable for destroying microorganisms. For this reason, Radis worked on the construction of a prototype for carrying out such treatments. The prototype was constructed and the ozonation tests were carried out following the instructions given by Dr Cristian Carboni (Industrie De Nora S.p.a.), who collaborated on the project as an external consultant. The results were quite encouraging; they led to the abatement of microorganism levels exceeding 90%. The various ozone treatments also reduced the contamination of yeasts and moulds.

As far as insect efficacy is concerned, the ozone treatment proved to be particularly effective against Ephestia; instead, high concentrations of ozone and longer times were required for the elimination of beetles and weevils, which led Radis to prefer the use of other techniques developed by the company.


Radis Srl

Via Faentina n.280

48124 S.Michele (RA)

Tel. 0544 462485 - Fax 0544 462604

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