Alternative Application of Steam Treatment Can Potentially Replace Chemical and Physical Disinfections

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Alternative Application of Steam Treatment Can Potentially Replace Chemical and Physical Disinfections

Alternative Application of Steam Treatment Can Potentially Replace Chemical and Physical Disinfections
May 06
15:03 2016

Steam is a well-known decontamination method with a wide range of utilization. Steam processes are generally considered as highly cost-effective, easy to use and free from chemicals. Nevertheless, focus on this subject seems to be declining due to several process limitations, encountered in several cases. Cases with food products that possesses high infections risks, such as fresh or raw meat products, poultry, fish and berries do not respond well to steam processes. Long treatments cause thermal damages, while short treatments are inadequate for achieving appropriate microbial kill on such surfaces. The reason is due to a well-known phenomenon, referred to as the laminar sublayer. Laminar sublayer is a layer of stagnant air, present around any given object. This layer takes up much energy and delays heat transfer to the surface of the product. By the time the heat reaches the surface, the overall temperature of the product has increased and the product undergoes thermal damages.

Steam Combined With Ultrasound Offers New Possibilities

What if you could apply steam disinfection to heat sensitive food products and avoid the thermal changes? What if you could do this in a super-fast process with minimal costs and what if you could apply this same process to non-food products as well?

SonoSteam® combines steam with ultrasound to create a strong and intensified treatment. While the ultrasound waves rapidly disrupts the stagnant air, temperate steam gains instant access to the surface as well as inside microstructures where microorganism may hide. The ultrasound is like a “catalyst” which intensifies and accelerating the steam process. SonoSteam processes are therefore able to kill high loads of bacteria within just a second, before heat can penetrate and thermally damage the organic material.

Adjustable Processes Allow For a Wide Range of Application

Sonosteam disinfection processes offer a wide range of application – everything from meat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products to non-food products such as conveyors, food boxes, crates, cutting knives and etc. SonoSteam disinfection can be adjusted to existing working parameters (line speed, product quantity, product quality) and performs efficient decontamination without stalling main processes or production lines. The technology have demonstrated more than 7 logs microbial reductions on solid materials in just a quarter of a second, illustrating the efficiency of this technology.

A Case of SonoSteam Box and Tray Disinfection For Industrial Application

Whether they are used as a means of transportation or as storage, boxes or trays constitute a potential risk of cross contamination in clean environments. Microorganisms and their biofilm and toxins can built up very quickly on the surfaces, if routine cleaning is inadequate or neglected. Disinfection with certain chemicals can cause selection of dangerous superbugs that are able to outlive standard cleaning procedures. At worst case, the bacteria can end up on food products or sterile medical devices, where it can cause illnesses and even deaths.

One way of solving these problems would be the addition of more time consuming and costly cleaning steps. This would require more chemicals and extensive water rinse, including both hot and cold water to remove chemical residues. Another way is to apply SonoSteam disinfection. The SonoSteam disinfection for boxes and trays is a custom made unit, which can be integrated to the existing washing processes. The treatment time for the Sonosteam disinfection is adjusted to the existing line speed and the disinfection does not require any post wash. This technology removes the need for chemical disinfection and reduces large amount of water, without affecting the disinfection process.

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