Environ Health Associated investigated the efficacy of a product known as electrolyzed water on reducing hazards in salad greens in colaboration with ProtonLabs and the University of Washington. The findings have been published in the Journal of Food Science. Our study found that when used on  experimentally contaminated leafy greens an electrolyzed water wash treatment provided a reduction to safe levels in about a minute and complete destruction of all pathogens to undetectable levels after 3 minutes. This technology developed by Protonlabs in Japan has the power to transform the safety of leafy greens. Unfortunately less effective technology developed in Russia has been heavily marketed already in the US, while the Japanese technology is just becoming well known. Environ Health Associates believes this study will open doors for Proton’s Japanese technology that were previously closed to the Russian technology.

What makes the Japanese technology an improvement on the Russian technology is the robust hardware, advanced electronics, and stable chemistry provided by the maunfacture. Environ Health Associates endorses ProtonLabs’ technology. ProtonLabs is the only company offering an effective stabilized electrolyzed water product that can be bottled with shelf life at 2 years under normal storage conditions.

The study showed that an ordinary washing step with electrolyzed water provides an excellent reduction in pathogens and a safe alternative to other treatments. Electrolyzed water resolves to its elemental components with no residue in the environment. The active ingredient, hypochlorous acid (HOCL) is accepted as GRAS by FDA and can be applied to all types of edible foods, including organically grown vegetables.  

Journal of Food Science

Volume 73 Issue 6, Pages M268 – M272

Published Online: 28 Jun 2008

Effect of Electrolyzed Water for Reduction of Foodborne Pathogens on Lettuce and Spinach
E.-J. Park 1 , E. Alexander 1 , G.A. Taylor 1 , R. Costa 1 , and D.-H. Kang 1
Authors Park and Kang are with Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA 99164-6376, U.S.A. Authors Alexander, Taylor, and Costa are with Proton Labs Inc., 980 Atlantic Ave., Suite 110 Alameda CA 94501, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Kang (E-mail: dhkang@wsu.edu).
electrolyzed water • lettuce • spinach
BSTRACT: The ability of electrolyzed water (EW) to inactivate foodborne pathogens on the surfaces of lettuce and spinach was investigated. Lettuce and spinach leaves were inoculated with a cocktail of 3 strains each of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes and treated with acidic electrolyzed water (AC-EW), alkaline electrolyzed water (AK-EW), alkaline electrolyzed water followed by acidic electrolyzed water (sequential treatment, AK-EW + AC-EW), deionized water followed by acidic electrolyzed water (sequential treatment, DW + AC-EW), and deionized water (control, DW) for 15, 30 s, and 1, 3, and 5 min at room temperature (22 ± 2 °C). For all 3 pathogens, the same pattern of microbial reduction on lettuce and spinach were apparent. The relative efficacy of reduction was AC-EW > DW + AC-EW ≈ AK-EW + AC-EW > AK-EW > control. After a 3-min treatment of AC-EW, the 3 tested pathogens were reduced below the detection limit (0.7 log). DW + AC-EW and AK-EW + AC-EW produced the same levels of reduction after 5 min when compared to the control. AK-EW did not reduce levels of pathogens even after a 5-min treatment on lettuce and spinach. Results suggest that AC-EW treatment was able to significantly reduce populations of the 3 tested pathogens from the surfaces of lettuce and spinach with increasing time of exposure.

MS 20070788 Submitted 10/22/2007 Accepted 4/20/2008