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Development of Portable Flow‐Through Electrochemical Sanitizing Unit to Generate Near Neutral Electrolyzed Water

Zhang, Jufang, Yang, Hongshun, Chan, Joel Zhi Yang
Journal of food science 2018 v.83 no.3 pp. 780-790
Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, anodes, antibacterial properties, cathodes, chlorine, electrochemistry, electrolyzed water, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, food industry, food pathogens, free radicals, households, hydroxyl radicals, mixing, pH, redox potential, sanitizing, superoxide anion
We developed a portable flow‐through, electrochemical sanitizing unit to produce near neutral pH electrolyzed water (producing NEW). Two methods of redirecting cathode yields back to the anode chamber and redirecting anode yields the cathode chamber were used. The NEW yields were evaluated, including: free available chlorine (FAC), oxidation‐reduction potential (ORP), and pH. The performances of 2 electrodes (RuO₂‐IrO₂/TiO₂ and IrO₂‐Ta₂O₅/TiO₂) were investigated. The unit produced NEW at pH 6.46 to 7.17, an ORP of 805.5 to 895.8 mV, and FAC of 3.7 to 82.0 mg/L. The NEW produced by redirecting cathode yields had stronger bactericidal effects than the NEW produced by redirecting anode yields or NEW produced by mixing the commercial unit's anode and cathode product (P < 0.05). Electron spin resonance results showed hydroxyl free radicals and superoxide anion free radicals were present in the NEW produced by developed unit. The NEW generator is a promising sanitizing unit for consumers and the food industry to control foodborne pathogens. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Current commercial NEW‐producing units are quite large and are not convenient for family using. The developed portable flow‐through, NEW‐producing unit has great potential in a wide range of applications, such as organic farm, households, and small food industries. The examined sanitizing treatments showed effective control of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes.