Cleaning Systems

In most plants today, the equipment surfaces are cleaned in place (CIP) by mechanical-chemical action. The results of CIP are influenced by equipment surfaces and time of exposure, mechanical action, and the temperature and concentration of the solution being circulated.

In the CIP procedure, a cold or tempered aqueous pre-rinse is followed by circulation of a cleaning solution for 10 min to 1 h at 54 to 82°C. A wide variety of cleaning solutions may be used, depending on the food product, the hardness of the water, and the equipment. Alkali or chlorinated alkaline cleaners are preferred. A chlorinated alkaline cleaner may be used separately or in combination with an acid detergent. The best combination of chemical, timing, and temperature is determined experimentally.

The CIP system is highly automated with valves, controls, and timers. The programmer controls the timing and airflow to the valves so that cleaning solutions are directed to the proper locations for a specific time, followed by a rinse and draining or air blow to clear the lines.

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