Focus on Food Washing

17th December 2018

Food washing:

Do you monitor your disinfection levels?

In the food industry, it is common for food suppliers and processors to disinfect fruit, salad leaves and vegetables by washing them in water that has been treated with disinfectant. This is an essential part of the process in preparing produce such as bagged salads or food-to-go fruit, sushi etc.

The choice of disinfectant is very important because chemicals can have different effects depending on the types of produce being washed.

Preserving natural colour

For example, if you are processing beetroot then you will want to preserve the characteristic red colour. For this reason it is best to avoid hypochlorite compounds as they will dull the vibrancy of the natural colouring. Peracetic Acid would be a better choice for washing beetroot.

Controlling blight

Potatoes present a different challenge. You will want to prevent them being affected by late blight and black rot in order to maximise their shelf life. Chlorine dioxide is a well-proven option for controlling both of these organisms and preventing them from ruining your stock.

Time is money

Once you have chosen the most appropriate disinfectant for a given product, it is just as important to maintain control over the disinfection process. There are several factors to consider here.

For any food processing operation, time is money, so it is an advantage to have a system that does everything to reduce or eliminate downtime.

Food safety

If you can maintain ideal disinfectant levels, regardless of the type of food being processed, this not only saves time, but has obvious food safety advantages too.

This is achievable when you have an automated system that continuously monitors disinfectant levels. Many food washers work with a variety of different produce, and each of these will consume the disinfectant at different rates. A well-designed system will take this into account.

Reaction times

The monitor should have a fast reaction time, suitable for the process it is controlling. If the pH and chlorine are moving rapidly, the controller needs to be able to adjust the rate of addition rapidly in response.

In this type of application, control loops that focus on deviations from a set disinfection level can yield the best results. Does your process currently do this? If not, you might want to have a word with us.

Improved productivity and traceability

At Prodose we provide advice and practical support in amending or redesigning your food washing systems to maximise productivity and safeguard you and your customers against problems that could occur from variations in disinfectant level.

We don’t represent or get commission from any equipment manufacturers, and therefore we are completely impartial. Another important aspect of our ethos is that we don’t push a “one method fits all” approach. Instead, our aim is to understand your processes and your way of working and come up with improvements and solutions that fit with your specific requirements.

Our experts have a lot of knowledge when it comes to disinfectant technology and associated systems. Is it worth having a conversation and getting the benefit of our experience? We certainly think so: we’ve helped improve many different food processing operations, and we’d be pleased to work with you too.

 

Give us a call and ask to speak to a disinfection expert.

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