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Fridge Fresh is a device that is intended to sanitize and clean the air in a refrigerator, so as to ensure that bacteria are at a minimum. This cleansing of the air extends how long fruits and vegetables that are stored in the refrigerator will last. The device releases activated oxygen to clean the air. This activated oxygen is highly reactive, and kills or damages yeast, fungal or mold cells, thereby preventing these organisms from attacking stored fruits and vegetables. Activated oxygen also acts as a neutralizer for ethylene. This is useful, as ethylene can cause food to rot or ripen faster than it normally would.
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How It Works
Activated oxygen is actually quite common in Earth’s atmosphere, protecting us from radiation in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, and cleansing the air at lower altitudes. It consists of a molecule composed of three atoms of oxygen – this is created when lightning or even ultraviolet light affect normal molecules of oxygen ( O2 ), breaking them apart into free atoms. These free atoms cannot exist for long, and tend to attach themselves to other normal molecules of oxygen, thus creating activated oxygen – which is designated O3. This molecule is hardly stable, and tend to oxidize nearby organic matter. Lower organisms such as bacteria or funguses are particularly susceptible to the action of activated oxygen. The Fridge Fresh device uses this principle to cleanse the air in your fridge, regularly releasing activated oxygen into the fridge by means of a timer.
How it's Different from Competitors
While there are quite a few products today that focus on neutralizing ethylene, Fridge Fresh is designed to eliminate organic contaminants such as bacteria, pathogens and yeasts that are really what cause food to spoil. When the air inside the refrigerator is sanitized of these pathogens, food spoilage is slowed down to an extent where it becomes negligible.
- Foods Remain Fresh Longer
Of course, this depends on the condition of the food when it was put into the refrigerator and the kind of food. How long food will remain fresh also depends on environmental conditions such as humidity, and upon the temperature settings in your fridge. Foods susceptible to spoiling, such as strawberries, can remain fresh for two weeks. Avocados can last for about a month if a fridge has an active Fridge Fresh unit. The peel of a banana will tend to darken, but the fruit itself will maintain its freshness for a couple of weeks.
- Unpleasant Odors Are Lessened
The activated oxygen created by the Food Fresh unit will neutralize about a quarter of unwanted and unpleasant odors in the fridge. It will also prevent other foods from ‘catching’ the odor.
- O3 Reaches Everywhere
As the activated oxygen is a gas, it will quickly diffuse ( as all gases do ) throughout the interior of the fridge. This means that food will remain fresh no matter where you store it in the fridge.
- Allows More Space
The unit is about five inches long and the same in height. It is just two and a half inches wide, and weighs just about a pound. It's possible to place the unit out of site at the rear of a shelf in the refrigerator. Since it is no longer necessary to use heavy packaging for food storage inside the fridge, more food can be stored in the fridge at any one time.
- Safe to Use
There’s over a century of precedent for using O3 in the purification of both water and air. It's also used in other crucial applications. O3 was approved as far back as 2001 by the FDA to use in the control of bacteria and pathogens. It was specified that it's safe to use in contact with food, and in the processing or storage of food.
- The Device Needs D-cells
One possible negative aspect of the device is that it uses normal D-cells rather than rechargeable batteries. On the other hand, perhaps lithium rechargeable batteries, for example, are not really reliable in the humid and cold atmosphere of a fridge, so perhaps the manufacturer had no option but to rely on D-cells.
- There’s no Way to Switch Off
The device starts to work the moment you put the batteries in it. It would have been nice to have an ‘off’ switch. As it is, the only way to turn the device off is to remove the batteries.
- Never Mind the Blinking Light
At some point in using the device, you might notice that the green light on the device starts to blink. This is not a cause for concern. When you first turn the unit on inside your fridge, the light will glow a steady green for the first hour or so. During this period, the device is raising O3 levels inside the fridge to effective concentrations. Once this level is achieved, the device goes into standby to save on power, and to extend the life of the batteries. That’s when the activation light starts to blink.
Easy to Use
- Insert the Batteries
Fridge Fresh does not have filters that regularly need to be replaced. The batteries last a fairly long time.
- Place the Unit in the Fridge
Find a suitable place and attach the device. It won't take much space.
- Replace the Batteries
When the batteries are running low, a red light on the device lets one know that they need replacing. Other than this, the device requires no maintenance.
Reducing waste is a good way to ‘go green’ and lessen expenses. Discarded waste food creates methane when it decomposes. This contributes to the greenhouse effect, and global warming. Also, wasting perfectly good food through spoilage means that more has to be produced and purchased. This requires that more food be grown, preserved and packaged – all of which affects the environment and, eventually, your pocket. By preventing spoilage – and thus, wastage of food – one contributes to preserving the environment. In terms of food spoilage prevented, and therefore food-purchases lessened, the device can save a significant amount of money - roughly two thousand dollars a year.
- An Odor Control Agent
Putting an odor control agent into your fridge is an effective method of eliminating odors. Baking soda is commonly used for this purpose, and while it works well, there are also other odor-control agents on the market. White vinegar is another method of odor-control, as are uncooked oats or coffee grounds. Charcoal pieces are also known to reduce unpleasant odors. However, all these methods only neutralize unpleasant odors – they don't negate or remove the pollutants and bacteria that are the true source of the odors. Elimination of these usually requires the use of a carbon-base air filter.
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