The basics of electrolyzed water

Electrolyzed (EO) water is produced through a process of electrolysis in a cell containing inert positively charged and negatively charged electrodes, and through which diluted salt water is passed.  By subjecting the electrodes to a DC voltage of about 8 to 10 Volts, two types of water possessing different characteristics are generated.

  1. An electrolyzed basic aqueous solution has a reducing potential, which leads to a reduction of free radicals in biological systems. This type of solution is characterized as having a high pH (10-11.5) and a low ORP (-800 to -900 mV)
  2. An electrolyzed strong acidic solution, which has a high oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and presence of hypochlorous acid, has been found to have bactericidal effect. This type of solution generally has a low pH (2.3 – 2.7) and a high oxidation – reduction potential (ORP) (> 1000 mV).

Research on EO water at the University of Georgia is focused on finding safe, effective, economic, and practical means of controlling foodborne pathogens as food moves from the farm, through postharvest operations, and onto the table at home, as well as applying EO water to enhance the functional properties and quality of foods.

The research program utilizes the principles of biology, chemistry, and engineering in a multi-frontal approach to fully elucidate the generation of EO water, enhancement of EO water properties, efficacy of EO water to enhance food safety, and challenges for adopting the EO water by the food processing and service industries.  The effect of EO water on modification of the functional properties of foods has also been studied.

The principle of electrolyzed water production

EO water is produced in a specific type of electrolytic cell. Generally, an electrolytic cell can be represented by the following:

An external power source provides the electron flow needed by the cell. Acidic EO water is fomred around the cathode, while alkaline electrolyzed water is formed around the anode.