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18 Sep. 2018 | Ozone Systems Keep Dangerous Bacteria in Wineries Under Control
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Ozone Systems Keep Dangerous Bacteria in Wineries Under Control

The American wine industry deserves a toast — wine consumption has grown from 370 million gallons in 1993 to over 770 million today. To keep production going, winemakers face the challenge of upholding a high sanitization standard in their wineries. They need to pay constant attention to the bacteria levels and keep their facilities free from an overabundance of microbes that would spoil the beverage.

As a leading local provider of sanitation products and services, BC Industrial Services, LLC can help countless wineries and breweries contend with the microbe levels that are dangerous for business through superior ozone sanitation systems. Here are the foes that winemakers face.

Lactic Acid Bacteria

One of the most common culprits for wine spoilage, says the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute of the Iowa State University, is the presence of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The bacteria live on the surface and leaves of grapes and enters the winery during harvest season. Contaminated equipment, such as pumps, valves, and storage containers, also offer a conducive environment for their growth.

The growth of the spoilage-causing species LAB depends on the wine composition, handling, and storage.

Ozone for Clean Facilities

Since microbial growth is crucial in keeping wine in good condition, many wineries turn to ozone to keep the production environment stable. Ozone is present in 0.01 to 0.15 ppm in normal conditions and is effective in cleaning and sanitizing barrels, tanks, and surfaces.

When it interacts with microbes, it denatures the metabolic enzymes in their membranes. This means that the substances that keep a microbe’s life going would no longer function. Additionally, ozone attacks and degrades microbial films — a matrix of bacteria and extracellular polymeric substance that could cause wines to go bad.

This process doesn’t leave any residue behind. Once ozone interacts with microbes, it reverts to oxygen. And ever since people started using ozone a hundred years ago, no human has died as a result of overexposure to it. So, it’s a safe and organic alternative to harsh disinfectants.

Winery Sanitation

One thing to bear in mind is that ozone doesn’t eliminate bacteria in winery equipment. After all, barrels also host beneficial bacteria that aid the fermentation process. Additionally, some equipment, like barrels, do not have a smooth surface. They have far too many nooks and crannies that ozone cannot penetrate. What ozone does is control the microbial growth to avoid off-flavors and wine spoilage.

Winemakers use ozone to clean facilities in two ways: clean-in-place (CIP) systems and mobile disinfection carts.

  • CIP Systems – These are wall-mounted systems that circulate ozone-enriched water through pipes, controlling microbial growth in various areas of wineries, breweries, and cideries. They also control airborne contaminants. Our systems clean barrels, tanks, bottling equipment, transfer lines, drains, walls, and floors.
  • Mobile Disinfection Carts – These are mobile carts that deliver ozone-enriched water and serve as an alternative to hot water disinfection. Our carts feature easy-to-use push-button controls and microprocessor-controlled ozone systems.

Work with Us

Sanitation is a critical aspect of production in any winery, brewery, and cidery. See to it that your facility has powerful cleaning systems that keep production going. Contact the BC Industrial Services, LLC team for inquiries about our ozone systems.

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