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Chopped Celery Case Study

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CHOPPED CELERY

SITUATION

Unprocessed celery has high levels of dirt and other microorganisms because it grows so close to the ground. Washing before chopping consumes large quantities of water and can be very costly. Many plants recycle the wash water to lower costs.

PROBLEMS

Recycled wash water builds up high levels of bacteria which remain on celery surface. Chopped celery generates high BOD levels in water. Large amounts of chemicals such as chlorine or peracetic acid are required to keep bacteria levels down. High costs for chemicals. Microbial levels still high after chemicals. Customers concerned about excess chemical exposure to product

SOLUTIONS

Install a low flow, low pressure, post wash rinse step incorporating ozone into the process. System designed for up to 20 GPM but operates normally at 8-10 GPM. Ozone dosage of 1-1.2 PPM, controlled by aqueous ozone monitor.

RESULTS

Reduced BOD levels. Reduced Bacteria levels average 90%. Reduced chemicals. Improved end-product quality concerns. Improved value added image to customers. Extended shelf life of product.
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