Effect of ozone treatment on the safety and quality of malting barley

James G Dodd, Anuradha Vegi, Ashwini Vashisht, Dennis Tobias, Paul Schwarz, Charlene E Wolf-Hall
Journal of Food Protection 2011, 74 (12): 2134-41
Molds and their mycotoxins are an expensive problem for the malting and brewing industries. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a mycotoxin that is associated with Fusarium spp. These fungi frequently cause Fusarium head blight in wheat and barley in the midwestern region of the United States; Manitoba, Canada; Europe; and China. Barley growers and malt producers would benefit from a postharvest control method for mold growth and DON production. We evaluated the use of gaseous ozone (O(3)) for preventing Fusarium growth and mycotoxin production while maintaining malt quality characteristics. Micromalting was performed in three replications under standard conditions. Ozone treatment was applied to malting barley during steeping via a submerged gas sparger. Ozone treatment conditions were 26 mg/cm(3) for 120 min after 2 and 6 h of steeping. The effects of gaseous ozone on DON, aerobic plate counts, Fusarium infection, and mold and yeast counts of barley throughout the malting process were measured. Various quality parameters of the malt were measured after kilning. Statistical tools were used to determine the significance of all results. Ozonation of malting barley during steeping did not lead to significant reductions in aerobic plate counts but did lead to a 1.5-log reduction in mold and yeast counts in the final malt. The influence of gaseous ozone on DON concentration was inconclusive because of the low initial concentrations of DON in the barley. Ozone significantly reduced Fusarium infection in germinated barley. Gaseous ozone did not negatively influence any aspect of malt quality and may have subtle beneficial effects on diastatic power and β-glucan concentrations.

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