Dogecoin crashes Out-of-control Chinese rocket Best Buy 3-day sale Bill Gates and Melinda Gates divorce Last-minute Mother's Day gifts Stimulus check updates

Killing bacteria with stylish kitchen appliances

The Lotus will decimate fungus and e. coli on your food, but it costs a lot.

The Lotus Michael Kanellos/CNET

There must be something in the air today--or the food, at least. Like the CulinaryPrep, the Lotus Sanitizing System from Tersano claims to eliminate fungus and other bacteria from food, but in this case with an environmentally safe blast of ozone.

As an added bonus, it also helps remove cat puke stains from the carpet. More on that in a second.

The unit, which sells for $169.99, is effectively a home ozone generator. A pump sucks in ambient air, and then hits it with a jolt of electricity. The electricity causes the oxygen molecules in the air, which consist of two oxygen atoms, to turn into ozone, which has three oxygen atoms.

Ozone is an unstable molecule and reacts with the first thing it comes in contact with. If it runs into iron, it will make iron oxide. If it's a bacteria or some other microbe, it attaches to the cell wall and blows it open. Fruit and vegetables sitting in the water subsequently get disinfected. The company claims it can kill more than 99 percent of creepies on produce, if used correctly. A squirt bottle full of the ozone-infused water will have cleaning properties for a good 15 minutes.

Before Michael Kanellos/CNET

Ozone can be harmful to humans, if they inhale enough of it. However, the Lotus cranks out only a small amount of ozone. To stay on the safe side, it warns people not to drink out of the squirt bottle. The best part is that there is no harmful chemical residue--the only byproduct is regular oxygen molecules.

Novazone, out of Livermore, Calif., sells industrial-size ozone purifiers for farmers and bottlers. If you've drunk bottled water, you've probably experienced their product.

Tersano also makes a water purifying system.

The Lotus makes a tinny, whirring sound, but the whole process takes only about four minutes. The bowl holds less produce than the average salad spinner, but it's close.

After Michael Kanellos/CNET

But does it kill germs and fungi? I guess. How would you tell? The food tasted clean, but it would after being washed in regular water without ozone.

So I tried out the squirt bottle. It removed a mystery stain on the downstairs carpet and alleviated more than half of the shadow of a cat puke stain that's bedeviled me for a while. You can see the photo comparison.

Still, is it worth $169.99? They are going to have to bring the price way down.