Cleaning in the food industry

In the food industry, cleaning and disinfection of production facilities are indispensable. The hygienic conditions before, during and after the manufacturing process have a considerable influence on the quality of the end product. This is why cleaning is now an integral part of the process chain for the production of safe food.

During production, in addition to sensory product properties, the shelf life and, in particular, the potential health hazards posed by pathogenic microorganisms and their toxins must be taken into account. To enable optimum cleaning, plants are designed specifically for food. In the field of Hygienic Design, the type of material, surface quality, and geometric construction are considered in context with clean ability.

The efficiency of cleaning is influenced by various variables: In addition to hygienic valves, pipes and pumps, the plant-specific combination of material-compatible cleaning media must also be taken into account. Essential for the cleaning success are the specifications of the concentration, the exposure time, the temperature, the number of rinsing cycles as well as the volume of liquid, in connection with the mechanical influences.

The need to use an economically lucrative and reliable method resulted in the so-called Cleaning in Place (CIP) - automatic cleaning in a closed system saves dismantling and manual cleaning. One example is the EU project ProEclair of the Fraunhofer IGB: The effectiveness of the integrated cleaning system is investigated for proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and detergent residues using a residue analysis of the last rinsing water. In the EU project PreserveWine, the Fraunhofer IGB demonstrates how hygienic machine design and the application of a novel pressure swing technology contribute to the preservation-free production of safe liquid foods.