BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department
BS in Agricultural Systems Management
This senior project investigates the relative efficacy of ozonated water and chlorinated water for the purpose of sanitizing freshly-harvested organic produce. The aim of this study was to assist the Cal Poly Organic Farm in deciding whether or not to invest in an ozone generator. The crops used for testing were grown organically in the same field. Carrots and cilantro were harvested and promptly treated with 5 ppm ozone solution or 25 ppm sodium hypochlorite solution. Carrots were sampled at 0, 7, and 14 days storage to determine microbial populations. Cilantro was similarly tested at 0, 6, and 12 days storage. The results indicate that chlorine and ozone both tend to perform similar to water in controlling microbes on cilantro. Chlorine tended to provide superior performance in controlling microbes on carrots. Further experiments are required to investigate procedures for ensuring effective treatment in the context of organic production.