Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Cleanability of food processing equipment

The project concerns developing practical test protocols for assessing the cleanability of equipment intended for food production. Developed methods, if suitable, will be submitted to Comité Européen de Normalization for consideration as European Standards for assessing equipment hygienic design for compliance with the Machinery Safety Directive (89/392/EEC). In the first year of the project most of the work has centred on establishing suitable techniques that participants could use to develop soil (microbial and organic) detection methods. Participants required standard surfaces on which to apply standard soils. These would then require cleaning with standard cleaning protocols before soil residuals could be detected. The following has been decided/achieved: stainless steel is the material used by project partners to develop and compare methods; both pure microbial and mixed microbial/organic soils have been developed for small and large scale food processing equipment as have spray application methods; the microbial soils use Pseudomonas, Photobacterium and Bacillus spp; the organic soils are for both open (based on mixtures of milk, starch and fat) and closed (based on milk and margarine) surfaces; all European countries use caustic and acid detergents for cleaning and favour the use of alkaline detergents applied by foaming techniques for open surfaces; low pressure cleaning is preferred. Research in the second year will concentrate on detection systems for residual soils remaining after cleaning, so watch out for further information from this very important project.

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