Cardiff Metropolitan University has opened a new centre called ZERO2FIVE that has an ozone testing chamber to research the use of ozone to eliminate listeria in food sources.
The university recently purchased a 2BTech 106 ozone monitor from UK company Air Monitors and will be working alongside â€˜Ozone Industries Limitedâ€™ who is a major provider of ozone generator applications for the control of odours and micro-organisms in both air and water for a wide range of commercial, industrial, and domestic markets.
Microbiology lecturer Dr James Blaxland role at the ZERO2FIVE food industry centre focuses on the decontamination of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes from both food and food preparation areas. Listeria is the causative agent of listeriosis, a rare, but potentially life-threatening condition which typically affects certain groups of people, which includes; those who are immunosuppressed, pregnant or elderly.
Listeria is a huge problem in the food and drink industry and with the help of the 2BTechâ€™s 106 ozone monitor, James and his team have been looking at how effective ozone is on different surfaces.
They also have a sensory analysis suite where they can see if ozone has an effect on taste, colour and smell of certain foods. Can the public tell the difference? That is a key question for the food manufacturers to ensure that the public donâ€™t notice any discernible difference.
James said: ‘The 2BTech Ozone monitor has been producing great results since we started the research a few months ago and so far, growth of different strains of listeria have been found on different surfaces and the aim is to minimise, if not remove this going forward. As well as listeria being present on food sources, it can also contaminate medical devices and hopefully ozone can be used for the removal of these bugs.’
Caroline Bennett, Air Monitorâ€™s Technical Sales Executive added: ‘We have enjoyed seeing how the Cardiff Metropolitan Universityâ€™s ZERO2FIVE centre has used the 2BTech Ozone monitor and have been really happy to have helped this project along.’