Studies point to use of ozone to end slimy salad problem

Ozone may have a role to play in stopping the familiar problem of bagged salad leaves quickly turning slimy and inedible after sale, according to University of Newcastle PhD student Shreya Wani.

"The sliminess is caused by microbes like Pseudomonas fluorescens," she told Grower. "Ozone is already used to disinfect fruit. It can be generated on site and has no residue, but salad leaves are delicate and if the stomata are open it can damage them."

In her first year of studying the problem, she investigated maximum exposure levels. "I have managed to control the bacteria without damaging the leaves. Now I need to transfer it to a bigger scale."

Her work is supported by leafy salad suppliers Vitacress and Intercrop and produce storage specialist Biofresh.


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