How does Ozone work in the Dairy Process?

The many uses of Ozone include being a part of the Dairy industry. As an effective surface sanitation agent for food safety and processing, ozone can also be applied in the dairy production – as a disinfectant, cleaning materials and surfaces in the food process, or as an ingredient in  the dairy process.

Learn more about ozone surface sanitation in dairy process and how it can make dairy healthier, below.

Ozone treatment is a cost‐effective and eco‐friendly food processing technology, that is earning a reputation as an effective disinfectant while it destroys bacteria, virus, fungus, yeasts, molds and protozoa.

Surface sanitation in dairy industry is fundamental for the quality of the final product. Studies prove that a wide range of dairy products can benefit from the use of ozone treatment as a disinfectant.

Ozone has been used for the removal of milk residues and biofilm‐forming bacteria in steel surfaces and in milk processing, including fluid milk, powdered milk products and cheese.

How does it work?

Given that ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent active against many microorganisms, the ozone treatment prevents mold growth on dairy products, including cheese and milk and inactivate airborne molds in storage facilities.

Furthermore, ozone does not negatively impact the nutritional values or taste of the fluid milk. Also, ozone dissolved in water can be used to clean and disinfect the cow’s teats before milking, this will lower teat illness and mastitis.

This process reduces bacteria in the milk, cross contamination and the potential of disease on each cow. If ozonated water is used on dairy products, it should be used for your cleaning process, too.

Ozone can be applied to clean and disinfect dairy animals, milking equipment and the surfaces in dairy settings, while improving the animal’s health and the milk quality. Many hygienic problems may easily be prevented with the use of ozone.

Comparing to other chemicals, ozone leaves no residue in the food or food contact surfaces because it quickly auto decomposes in oxygen, reducing both the environmental impacts and costs of the company.

Also, because ozone must be generated onsite as opposed to conventional chemical sanitizers, it neither requires transportation nor storage.

Common problems in Dairy Production Units

Most diseases are transmitted by water, so disinfected process water is increasingly used in dairies. Ozone is 10 times more effective than chlorine in killing bacteria. Because of its high oxidation potential, ozone is very effective at killing bacteria on equipment surfaces (ozone is superior to chlorides for biofilms).

Ozone is the most advanced and safest method of sterilization in any food product production unit. Ozone dissolved in cold water reacts with organic material such as bacteria, viruses, milk solids and lime scale and significantly reduces bacterial counts. Highly ozonated water is the perfect disinfectant for clean plumbing in large dairy farms and dairy operations. Ozonated water can be used for cleaning milk drums and storage tanks as well as milk tankers.

Hoof & Teat wash and disinfection

Bovine mastitis is the most common and costly disease in the dairy industry.

Ozone is a safe method of treating common bovine diseases because it does not leave antibiotic residues in milk.

Read the published scientific articles below on this page.

Mixing Water in Milk

Water used for mixing in milk should be free from any microbiological contamination for more shelf life.

Ozone drastically reduces the bacterial contamination and thus the product quality is enhanced substantially.

Surface Disinfection

Water used in cleaning of utensils and other devices which comes in direct contact with the product can contaminate the product if not washed with sterilized water.

Ozone is 10 times more effective than chlorine.


The quality of dairy is better but if the packaging environment is not sterilized or fully microbial free it will also affect the shelf life of the product when it comes in contact with it. The packaging material should be bacteria free because the product has to reach the user in that material only and sterilized packaging material provides greater shelf life of the product.

CIP (Clean in Place)

The conventional methods like alkaline/acid cleaning with hot water disinfection or alkaline cleaning with acid chemical disinfection include risk of its remaining at the joints inside the pipeline and when milk is passed through the pipeline it gets mixed with it and this degrading its quality.

Odors Removal

Dairy producers must be aware that milk hygiene depends on farm-wide hygiene, animal health and welfare and not just on conditions in the milking parlor and adjacent areas.

Poor hygiene causes the appearance of unpleasant odors, ideal for bacterial propagation.

The use of ozone therapy for a short exposure time is effective for spores and viruses. For example, studies have shown that ozone treatments produce a 60 recovery in infected cows without the administration of antibiotics. In addition, ozone is a safe method of treating common bovine diseases because it does not leave antibiotic residues in milk.

Effects of ozone on microbial populations of different dairy products

Targeted Samples
Targeted Organism
Ozone Parameters
Fluid milk Listeria monocytogenesConcentration: 2 g/L
Time: 0, 5, 10 and 15 min
A complete inactivation of Listeria was observed with a slight change in nutritional composition (carbohydrate and proteins) at the end of 15 min(Sheelamary and Muthukumar. 2011)
Whole and
skim milk
Pseudomonas aeruginosaConcentration: 28 mg/L
Time: 5, 10 and 15 min
The inactivation was found to be depended on time and composition milk dependent(Munhõs & others, 2019)
Staphylococcus aureusConcentration: 34.7 mg/L and 44.8 mg/L
Time: 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 min
At 5 min there was no reduction in microbial load, but for treatment time above 5 min there was a steady decrease in log count. The ozone efficacy was also found to be dependent on fat content(Couto & others, 2016)
Raw milkTotal mesophilic aerobic bacteria (TMA), psychrotrophic bacteria, Staphylococcus sp.,Enterobacteriaceae, Salmonella sp. and yeasts and moldsConcentration: 1.5 mg/L
Time: 5, 10 and 15 min
Gaseous ozone were bubbled
Even though there was no microbial reduction after first 5 min of treatment, a 0.4–1.0 log reduction of microbial count was observed after15 min of ozone bubbling(M. Cavalcante & others, 2013b)
Coliform, and StaphylococcusaureusConcentration: 0.5 ppm
Time: 5, 10 and 15 min
The study found that ozone treatment at 0.5 ppm for 5, 10 and 15 min is not sufficient to achieve roper shelf life and quality of raw milk(Khudhir and Mahmood, 2017)
Total bacterial count, yeast and molds, enterobacteriacae, psychrotrophes, S. aureus, Bacillus cerues, E. coli, S. typhimurium and Sh. FlexneriConcentration: 400 mg/h
Time: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 min
The ozone treatment for 20 min at 400 mg/h was found to be significantly improve the microbial quality of milk.(Younis & others, 2019)
Total bacterial countConcentration: 0.5 g/L
Time: 5, 15 and 30 min
Ozone treatment was found to be an alternative for conventional thermal processing(Azhar and ALmosowy, 2020)
Yogurt and cheese brineTotal mesophilic count, coliforms, molds and yeasts,staphylococci, enterococci and lactic acid bacteriaConcentration:
2.5–3 ppm
Time for yogurt: 0, 10, 20 and 30 seconds
Time for brine solution: 0, 10, 20 and 30 min
Ozone flushing for 30s significantly increased the shelf-life of the yogurt; The protein content in cheese brine interfered with the ozone and decreased it antimicrobial efficiency(Alexopoulos & others, 2017)
Cheese brineTotal viable count, microstaphylococci, yeastsConcentration: 0.20, 0.40 and 2.0 mg/L
Time: 30 and 60 min
The microbial inactivation by ozone were time and concentration depended, the application of 0.40 mg/L of ozone for a prolonged period of 240 min were able to reduce the Total microbial count >2 log CFU/ml and yeast > 1 log CFU/ml(Marilena Marino & others, 2015)
CheeseTotal bacterial count, coliform and yeast and moldConcentration: 0.5 ppm
Time: 10, 15 and 20 min
Ozone treatment for 20 min was able to reduce the microbial count in soft cheese by 6 log cycles(Zinasaab Khudhir and Mahdi, 2017)
Pseudomonas spp., Lactic acid bacteria, E. coli and coliformsConcentration: 2, 10, 20 and 30 mg/L
Time: 30 and 60 min
The results showed that ozone treatment cannot be used to recover the product which is already contaminated with microbial load, but is effective in reducing the contamination in treatment water which intern could help in increasing the product shelf life(Segat & others, 2014)
Italian CheeseL. monocytogenesConcentration: 4 ppm
Time: 8 min
L. monocytogenes counts were brought down from
103 CFU/g to 10 CFU/g
(Morandi & others, 2009)
Brazilan Cheese (Minas Frescal)Lactic acid bacteria,
Yeast and mold,
Total mesophilic count
Concentration: 3 mg/L
Time: 1 – 2 min
Approximately 2 log reduction were observed(D. Cavalcante & others, 2013a)
ButterColiform, Salmonella, Staphylococci, Yeast and mould, Lactobacillus, StreptococcusConcentration: 3.5 g/h
Time: 5, 15, 30 and 60 min
Ozone was successful in inactivation all tested micro organism(Durmuş Sert, Mercan and Kara, 2020)
Concentration: 0.15, 0.20, 0.25 and 0.30 mg/L
Time: 5, 15, 30 and 60 min
(Durmus¸ Sert and Mercan, 2020)
Milk powderCronobacterConcentration: 2.8 and 5.3 mg/L
Time: 120 min
Ozone were successful in inactivating the selected microorganism with causing significant lipid oxidation, though the fat content of the milk played a major role in determining ozone efficacy(Emrah Torlak and Sert, 2013)
Milk concentrate an whey protein cincentratesColiforms, Enterobacteriacaea, Staphylococi, Yeast and moldConcentration: 3.5 g/L
Time: 0, 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 min
Inactivation of microbes ranged from 0.6 – 1 log CFU/ml(Sert and Mercan, 2021)
(Source: Anandu Chandra Khanashyam, M. Anjaly Shanker, Anjineyulu Kothakota, Naveen Kumar Mahanti & R. Pandiselvam (2021): Ozone Applications in Milk and Meat Industry, Ozone: Science & Engineering, DOI: 10.1080/01919512.2021.1947776)


    • Powerful disinfectant;

    • Improves dairy water quality;

    • Increases dairy product quality: powdered milk products, fluid milk and cheese;

    • Doesn’t affect the taste of any cheese or even the nutritional properties of any dairy product, including milk;

    • Removes milk residues and biofilm‐forming bacteria from stainless steel surfaces;

    • Destroys bacteria and microorganisms in storage dairy rooms;

    • Prevents the growth of surface molds on cheeses in storage areas during curing;

    • Avoids cross- contamination;

    • Reduces dramatically the mastitis and illness in cow’s teat;

    • Offers cost savings vs chemical.

Scientific Articles

Published: 2022

R. B. AFONSO, R. H. R. MOREIRA, P. L. R. DE ALMEIDA | February | Can ozone be used as antimicrobial in the dairy industry? A systematic review

Published: 2021

A. C. KHANASHYAM, M. A. SHANKER, A. KOTHAKOTA, N. KUMAR MAHANTI, R. PANDISELVAN | July 1st | Ozone Applications in Milk and Meat Industry

JÉSSICA R. ORLANDIN, LUCIANA C. MACHADO, CARLOS E. AMBRÓSIO, VALTER TRAVAGLI | July 28th | Ozone and its derivatives in veterinary medicine: A careful appraisal

KARYNE RANGEL, FELLIPE O. CABRAL, GUILHERME C. LECHUGA & OTHERS | December 26th | Detrimental Effect of Ozone on Pathogenic Bacteria

Published: 2020

GIUSEPPINA MOCCIA, FRANCESCO DE CARO, CONCETTA PIRONTI, GIOVANNI BOCCIA, MARIO CAPUNZO, ANNA BORRELI, ORIANA MOTA | October 30th | Development and Improvement of an Effective Method for Air and Surfaces Disinfection with Ozone Gas as a Decontaminating Agent

Published: 2019

FABIO MASOTTI, LISA VALLONE, SILVIA RANZINI, TIZIANA SILVETTI, STEFANO MORANDI, MILENA BRASCA | March | Effectiveness of air disinfection by ozonation or hydrogen peroxide aerosolization in dairy environments

Published: 2016

LÁSZLÓ VARGA, JENÖ SZIGETI | April 3rd | Use of ozone in the dairy industry: A review

Published: 2013

MARGO ROMAN | September 12th | Ozone Therapy in the Veterinary Practice

Published: 2012

M. PABAKARAN, S. TAMIL SELVI, S. MERINAL, A. PANNEERSELVAN | 2012 | Effect of ozonation on pathogenic bacteria

COLM O’DONNELL, B. K. TIWARI, P. J. CULLEN, RIP G. RICE | 2012 | Ozone in Food Processing

Published: 2009

JAMES B. HUDSON, MANJU SHARMA, SELVARANI VIMALANATHAN | May 27th | Development of a Practical Method for Using Ozone Gas as a Virus Decontaminating Agent

Published: 2007
Published: 2003
Published: 2002

BENJAMAS THANOMSUB, VIPAVEE ANUPUNPISIT, SICHAI CHANPHECH, THANOMRAT WATCHARACHAIPONG | September | Effects of ozone treatment on cell growth and ultrastructural changes in bacteria

Published: 1999

US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) | April | Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants – Guidance Manual (read between pages 89 and 138, “Chapter 3: Ozone”)

Published: 1987

J. M. VAUGHN, Y. S. CHEN, K. LINDBURG, D. MORALES | September | Inactivation of Human and Simian Rotaviruses by Ozone