The Chemistry in Nature
Ozone is an allotrope of the element oxygen. Elements are one of a class of substances that cannot be separated into simpler substances. Remember the periodic table of elements? O-is oxygen, H-is hydrogen, C-is carbon, etcetera and together they form all of the matter in our world. Well, an allotrope is the different physical forms in which the same element can exist. Take C-carbon, for example. It’s most common allotropes are graphite, charcoal and diamond. All of these different substances are formed by just carbon in different states. The same thing happens to oxygen. The oxygen we breathe is simply O, but we may find allotropes of oxygen in our atmosphere… nevermind our Earth’s stratosphere. Remember the Ozone Layer that protects the earth from the sun’s radiation allowing life to exist on the planet? Well, that is composed by an allotrope of Oxygen called ozone — Trioxygen, chemically symbolized as O3, and sometimes referred to as activaded oxygen.
Ozone functions as both, the reason why life is able to exist on Earth and, conversely, the reason why the atmosphere is gradually becoming more inhospitable fore human living conditions. It all depends on where on the Earth’s layers ozone is found. For instance, in the stratosphere, ozone is continuosuly created and destroyed by UV radiation coming from the sun. In fact, along with Oxygen, they absorb 95 – 99 % of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and ozone alone can absorb the more harmful ultraviolet lights known as UV-C and UV-B. Nevertheless, when ozone is found in the toposphere, the layer of Earth in which we inhabit (the area from the earth’s surface to about 7 miles or 12 km upwards), the effects are not that great, to say the least. Ozone, at this level, can damage tissue. At this level, O3 is generated from certain types of pollution (i.e. industrial waste) and natural sources (i.e. electrical storms). Ironically, ozone in the tophoshere is considered to be one of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming and one ofthe components in smog.
A Powerful Sterilant
Sterilization is any process that eliminates or deactivates all forms of life of other biological agents which are dangerous for human consumption. In this sense, the food industry has found several benefits in the utilization of ozone when treating food products with ozone. Those benefits include the following:
- Ozone is one of the most powerful sterilants on earth, destroying bacteria, viruses, odors among other microorganisms
- When contaminants in food (i.e. bacteria, viruses, or odors) make contact with ozone they are destroyed completely by oxidation
- Ozone enhances shelf-life and the safety in food products
- Proper draining of the seed, grain, or nut.
- Removal of strange odors.
- Ozone turns into oxygen after being used against contaminants
Treating food products with ozonation has been demonstrating throughout the years to be one of the most natural ways of sterilizing and maximizing the benefits of food products.
Ozone Treatment & Food Products – A Timeline
Zors Food Chia Seeds & Ozone Treatment
Zors Food chia seeds are cleaned and selected ensuring a 99.95%, (or higher) purity and quality before they are treated with ozone. This means that before ozonation our chia seeds are already a Grade A Standard and suitable for exportation. Nevertheless, through ozonation Zors Food guarantees excellence in the quality of our products. Therefore, after reaching international quality standards, our chia seeds are placed in the Ozone Treatment Chamber where ozone is produced in a gaseous form acting upon all the remaining contaminants in the chia. The ozone produced becomes oxygen after sterilizing the chia and no residue is left behind awarding us with an innocuous product ready for direct human consumption. Afterwords, the chia seeds are placed into vacuumed and sealed bags and exported to the United State of America. Every single process from harvesting, to ozonation, and packaging follows our principles of quality and excellence.