Washing foods with electrolyzed water can sometimes be up to10 times more effective at killing harmful bacteria than traditionalrinsing techniques, according to one University of Georgia scientist.”Currently, the food industry washes foods with a chlorinesolution to kill bacteria,” said Yen Con Hung, a food scientistat UGA’s Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement in Griffin,Ga. “This method is effective, but it takes time to mix thechlorine solution and to ensure the correct concentration of residualchlorine in the solution.”Hunghas been testing a new method, which uses a combination of water,electricity and a salt solution to enhance the properties of water.The water and salt solution flow through a machine called an electrolyzedoxidizing water unit. The positive ions run through one side,and the negative ions through the other. The result is two formsof water; one very acidic and one with very high pH levels.Kills Bacteria BetterTesting the two waters in his laboratory, Hung found the acidicwater very effective at killing harmful bacteria. “We havetested this water on shell eggs, apples, lettuce and cutting boards,”Hung said. “It has a very strong bacterial killing effect,and for some applications has better effect than the currentlyused water/chlorine solutions.”Working with UGA sensory specialists, Hung put the acidic waterthrough consumer tests. “We had trained panelists compareproducts which were not treated to products treated with the water,”he said. “They found no differences in color, appearanceor smell.”Powerful SanitizerHung also tested the high pH water and found it to be extremelyuseful as a sanitizer. “It works like a soap, and it easesthe attachment of proteins and lipids in food materials to thefood preparation and processing surfaces,” Hung said.Hung’s research findings were published just a few months agoand he is already getting response from the food industry. “Thedevice is manufactured in Japan and Russia, and it isn’t beingused in the United States, yet,” he said. “We have alreadyheard from companies that are interested in using the processhere in the U.S.”Perfect for Food Service OperationsHung envisions the process being used by food service operationsfirst. “The small unit could easily be used in food servicefacilities,” Hung said. “It’s easier for workers touse so there would be no excuses for not using it. There’s nothingto prepare and mix, and you wouldn’t have to leave customers waiting.”He says the unit could also be useful in food processing plants.”In mass production, this technology would be very cost effective,”Hung said. “When you want to use it, you push a button. Youdon’t have to worry with mixing up concentrated liquids, and it’smore effective than chlorine rinses.”May Be Useful to ProcessorsIn the future, Hung plans to test the application of electrolyzedoxidized water during chicken processing. “We want to usethe water on chicken carcasses to see if it cuts down on the levelsof salmonella and campylobacter,” Hung said. “If itdoes, this treatment could be incorporated into chicken processingplants.”Hungalso plans to test the water on food products that are hard totreat to remove bacteria. “You can’t use heat to kill bacteriaon products like fresh berries and seafood like raw oysters,”Hung said. “The food needs to be safe, but no one wants theiroysters to be cooked. They wouldn’t be raw oysters any longer.”He also plans to further study what makes the water so effectiveand which properties in the water work best at killing bacteria.Home Use Down the Road”In Japan, there are home units similar to this that areused for treating water,” Hung said. “It purifies drinkingwater and lowers the pH levels.”Hung says he hopes to someday see U.S. consumers using homeversions of the electrolyzed water units. “It would be handyand could easily clean your food and sanitize your kitchen,”he said. “Until then, consumers should continue to wash theirfood products at home before preparing them for their families.”(Photographs by Sharon Omahen.) This story is another in a weekly series called “Planting the Seed: Science for the New Millennium.” These stories feature ideas and advances in agricultural and environmental sciences with implications for the future.
Everton enjoyed a lot of the ball early on but Younes Kaboul had the best chance in the opening 25 minutes with a stunning effort. The former Tottenham and Portsmouth defender raced down the left, turning inside and his arrowing shot across goal went just past the post, much to the relief of Robles.After a promising start, the Merseysiders failed to regain control of the game.As the Stadium of Light crowd’s anxiety filtered onto the pitch, Jermain Defoe was fouled on the edge of the box on 38 minutes. Van Aanholt stepped up to take the free-kick and Robles was wrong-footed as he prepared to dive across goal as the Dutchman netted his fourth of the campaign.Kone soon doubled their lead to edge Allardyce’s men closer to safety, a timely moment to net his first Sunderland goal since arriving from Ligue 1.His goal came after Defoe was denied by point-blank range, Robles tipping his header over the bar. As the ball was cleared from the resulting corner, Yann M’Vila headed the ball back into the box and Kone caught the volley perfectly, sending it into the roof of the net – followed by supporters’ shouts of ‘are you watching Newcastle?’Early in the second half, Defoe came even closer to netting his 19th goal of the campaign in all competitions. The 33-year-old, who has been tipped for an England call-up ahead of Euro 2016, was through on goal and he skilfully lobbed Robles. As the ball headed for goal, John Stones raced to clear the ball off the line.The resulting corner was whipped in by Wahbi Khazri and Robles failed to punch clear. The ball fell to Kone who could not miss from close range on 55 minutes.As the Wearside crowd roared in delight, they nearly had a fourth, Robles brilliantly denying Defoe once again – without the former Wigan goalkeeper, Everton could have conceded even more. 2 2 The Sunderland victory means relegation for Newcastle and Norwich Lamine Kone opened his Sunderland account as the Black Cats retained their Premier League status for next season, beating a poor Everton side 3-0 at the Stadium of Light.The three points means Sam Allardyce’s men will go into the final game of the campaign knowing they will definitely avoid the drop, confirming relegation for local rivals Newcastle and Alex Neil’s Norwich, along with already-relegated Aston Villa.The Black Cats scored twice in four minutes to lift the atmosphere on Wearside before half-time. Patrick van Aanholt put the hosts ahead with a low 20-yard free-kick before French defender Kone, a January signing from Lorient, sent a thunderous volley past Robles on 42 minutes.It was three just ten minutes into the second half when Robles’ poor goalkeeping meant the ball would fall to Kone who converted into an empty net.It completes an impressive job for Allardyce, who was appointed in October to replace Dick Advocaat, tasked with avoiding the dreaded drop.Everton, meanwhile, have now won just once in their last ten league outings and Toffees fans are growing increasingly frustrated with Roberto Martinez – only 1,000 were in attendance at the Stadium of Light.