At Palintest we believe that effective food safety starts with effective sanitisation control. The manufacturing and processing of food and beverage is a highly regulated industry, with differing guidelines depending on the location and the buyer. Thorough cleaning of all produce and equipment must be performed to remove excess organic material and prevent cross contamination. To find out why consistent standards are important in fresh produce washing take a look at our support article.
Choosing a sanitiser depends on a number of factors including the wash system design, amount of organic material in the water and the nutritional value of the final produce. Below are some of the most common sanitisers used in the fresh produce industry.
Chlorine is widely used as a sanitiser in fresh produce washing due to its effectiveness, ease of use and relatively low cost. However, chlorine is strongly affected by pH, temperature and cleanliness of the water and therefore needs to be carefully monitored. More chlorine is required in dirty water because chlorine is de-activated by organic matter.
The use of chlorine dioxide as a sanitiser is common in the fresh produce industry because of its efficacy. It is also less affected by pH and organic matter compared to chlorine.
Chlorine dioxide is less corrosive than chlorine but can lead to potentially harmful disinfection by-products including chlorite. With effectiveness at lower residuals it is important to regularly monitor concentrations of chlorine dioxide to ensure the system remains in operational limits.
PAA is effective against a broad spectrum of microbes and remains active when the organic matter load is high. It is effective even at low temperatures. At high concentrations peracetic acid can be hazardous to the health of workers, and therefore should be handled with care and monitored regularly.
Over or under dosing of sanitisers can have severe impacts – underdosing can compromise product quality and safety, and overdosing can unnecessarily increase chemical costs. Read our article what is the best method for produce wash water to find out more about the effects of over and under dosing of sanitizers.
Continuing innovation with online dosing equipment means that producers do not have to manually add sanitizers to the wash systems, however the growth in online systems has not been supported by the techniques used for validating and calibrating those very same systems. Without effective calibration and validation, these systems do not support satisfactory QA and risk management procedures.
Validation of disinfection may be enforced by produce buyers; however, many processors are failing to understand the importance of this process and how it helps to safeguard food safety and consumer wellbeing. That is why we are committed to helping to raise the bar for effective sanitization and testing protocol.
Kemio Disinfection, our next generation measurement platform, has been designed specifically to support sanitisation procedures in food processing. Kemio utilises a sophisticated electrochemical technique to test Bromine, Chlorine (free and total), Chlorine Dioxide, Chlorite and Peracetic Acid (PAA) on one instrument with the use of different sensors.
Unlike traditional measurement techniques, Kemio is truly simple to use and guides the user with visual on-screen instructions, minimising chances for errors caused by users. With on-screen visual instructions, Kemio™ can be used by anyone straight out of the box. Visit our Kemio product page or contact a member of our team below to find out more.
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