1. Periodic Report Summary - BIOSURF (Development and implementation of a contact biocide polymer for its application as antimicrobial and anti-deposit surfaces in the food industry)
Record Control Number:
Quality Validation Date:
Abstract: The aim of the BIOSURF project is the development of antimicrobial surfaces and their assessment with regard to their biocide antimicrobial and anti-deposit characteristics. In order to develop antimicrobial surfaces, the consortium initially focused on the assessment and specification of the microbial and deposit characteristics being typical for food processing branches in general and for the BIOSURF end-user partners in particular.
A comprehensive literature analysis on polymer architecture as well as on microbial populations and deposits likely to be detected in various food and beverage production environments was performed. To specify this generic approach with regard to the BIOSURF end users, a questionnaire was developed by TTZ and distributed to the end-user COASA. Additionally, packaging samples of COASA were analysed aiming at the determination of the end-user's on-site conditions. This led to the identification of 'target bacteria' used for antimicrobial tests. Thus, current cleaning and disinfection requirements were assessed and then transferred into requirements for adequate monitoring tools. Accordingly, the polymer architectures and coating compositions were optimised and the sensor and software requirements are defined.
Different amino-functionalised polymers were synthesised. The antimicrobial effectiveness of the polymers was tested with regards to their implementation as antimicrobial and anti-deposit surfaces. The polymers were spin-coated onto glass substrates or blended into a poly(ethylene) matrix and analysed by TTZ in order to assess the antimicrobial efficiency using the Japan Industrial Standard (JIS 2801:2000).
As another approach, UDUN produced stainless steel plates coated with a mixture of Ni-P-PTFE using an electroless plating system. The microbiological tests for the coated surfaces were carried out by UDUN, using fluorescence microscopy and the QCMD-300 system. The best performing polymers, exhibiting the widest range of efficiency, are further assessed. The combination of both concepts from UDUN and TUGRAZ might lead to a further improved antimicrobial activity. Preparations to produce such hybrid materials are currently ongoing.
Furthermore, the development and testing of anti-deposit monitoring modules as well as the development of monitoring and control protocols for the end-users was addressed. While partner Lagotec was responsible for the development of an anti-deposit monitoring module, TTZ was in charge of the sensor software development which will be required for process control and monitoring. The basic parameters were discussed and the software is currently being programmed.
Additionally, the four target bacteria constituted the basis for the development of the tailor made polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system which will be used for detection and identification of bacterial species during further laboratory tests in the pilot plant.
The development of anti-microbial and anti-deposit surfaces and coatings aim at preventing biofouling and lengthening processing time and thus minimise downtimes and give substantial cost benefits. This results in a substantial increase in turnover for the end-user. Furthermore, the consumption of partially hazardous chemicals is dramatically decreased by minimising cleaning and disinfection processes. Thereof benefits not only the end-users but also humans in general and the entire environment.
The project website (see http://biosurf-project.com online) is designed as a promotional and knowledge-sharing function, but also to raise awareness and interest in the project's results. The project flyer and further dissemination activities can also be downloaded from the website.