Ozone is already known as effective food/environmental disinfection agent, thanks to its oxidative action towards microbial cell components. Bactericidal effect of ozone is well documented, while data concerning its inhibitory activity towards fungi are still ambiguous. Our study aims to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of gaseous ozone towards potentially contaminant fungi in a meat production plant in real working conditions. M2 and M5S5 plates were inoculated with Aspergillus niger, Penicillium roqueforti, Mucor racemosus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains and positioned in a deboning room, where gaseous ozone was dispensed throughout the night (until a maximum concentration of 20 ppm). Nine different points were chosen, based on height and distance from the ozone dispenser. After the treatment, the presence of strains growth was evaluated. Gaseous ozone did not show any inhibitory activity against mould strains, as optimum growth during all the trials was observed. An appreciable and constant microbicidal effect against S. cerevisiae was evidenced, with a mean value of 2.8 Log reduction. Our results suggest the importance of the definition of environmental and technical use conditions in order to optimise the antimicrobial efficacy of ozone in real working situations in food industries.
Keywords: Gaseous ozone; Mould; Raw meat; Saccharomyces cerevisiae..