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Shocking Food Treatment.

Electrolyzed water, produced by applying an electric current to a dilute saltwater solution, may serve a variety of food treatment purposes, according to University of Georgia scientist Yen-Con Hung. Devices to produce electrolyzed water are manufactured in Japan but have not yet made their way onto the U.S. market.

Electrolyzed water is highly acidic. Chlorine is produced when the electric current passes through the saltwater solution. According to Hung, the chlorine and other unidentified oxidant by-products kill bacteria more effectively in some cases than either heat or chlorinated water alone. In tests, the electrolyzed water killed bacteria without changing foods' color or smell. Hung found that soaking cutting boards in warm electrolyzed water for just five minutes reduced bacteria by up to one millionfold.

Hung plans to test electrolyzed water on chicken to see if it kills Salmonella and Campylobacter on poultry carcasses. He also plans to test the water on hard-to-treat products such as oysters.
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Author:Dooley, Erin E.
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:157
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