Evaluation of ozone influence on wheat grain quality during active drying
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ozone on the quality of wheat grain during air ventilation drying process. After harvesting, the wheat grain was placed in two storage tanks. In one storage tank for grain drying was used air but in the other - ozone as the drying agent. The following quality parameters - moisture, water activity, gluten, starch and protein content, as well as the total plate count of microorganisms were determined during storage. Wheat grain quality parameters were analysed by taking samples from the top and bottom of the storage tanks. Two-year experiments showed that ozone treatment did not significantly affect (P > 0.05) the moisture content, water activity, gluten, starch and protein content of the analysed wheat grain, but all parameters were significantly affected (P < 0.05) by the sampling location - top or bottom of the storage tank. All samples taken from the top of the tanks throughout the drying process had higher water activity (aw < 0.800). It should be noted that in both series of experiments it was found that there is a very large difference (up to 10%) in grain moisture between grain sampled at the top and bottom of the tanks. Favourable conditions for the development of microorganisms are increased moisture and free water available in the products and raw materials. According to the results obtained in the experiments, it can be concluded that the total plate count in the analysed wheat grain did not exceed the permissible norms (105 CFU g -1 ).