Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Water-wise cleaning system for food industry

Sustainable water usage has become increasingly important for industries that require large quantities of water, such as food processing. An EU-funded consortium of engineering experts and food industry representatives addressed this issue by building and testing a prototype cleaning system that saves water.
Water-wise cleaning system for food industry
The food and drink industry is a pillar of the EU economy and comprises over 300 000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This makes it Europe's largest manufacturing sector both in terms of turnover (EUR 956 billion) and employment (4.1 million jobs). However, for the sector to remain competitive it must become more efficient, especially with regard to water usage.

The project LOWTEV II (Low temperature and lean volume cleaning system – Demonstrating the project results) delivered a system capable of reducing water consumption during conveyor belt cleaning within the food processing and manufacturing sector.

Consortium members applied new knowledge about the coupling of ultrasound with low water pressure delivery to develop an effective cleaning system. The new system proved to be effective and did not require the use of hot water or chemical detergents, except for a small quantity of chemical used to enhance the ultrasound.

Initially, data was collected from various industrial partners, covering where the system was to be implemented, infrastructure details and different factors regarding the operation of conveyor belts. Laboratory tests were then conducted to understand the efficiency and other characteristics of the system in more detail.

LOWTEV II delivered an effective clean-in-place system that is effective against biofilms, bacteria and food stuff contamination, including allergenic proteins. Moreover, it offers a 60 % reduction in the consumption of water for cleaning, a 30 % saving in energy consumption and a 20 % increase in productivity.

Other benefits include an integrated hygiene monitoring system, which ensures that the cleaning carried out is sufficient. This will lead to improved health and safety, reduced downtime for conveyor belt cleaning and reduced labour costs.

The system developed under LOWTEV II is suitable for Europe's food and drink industry, 99 % of which is made up of SMEs. It can be afforded by SMEs, thereby enabling them to become more competitive in the global market and also creating job opportunities.

Related information

Keywords

Cleaning system, food industry, water usage, food processing, water consumption, conveyor belt
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top