Modular Systems Of Disinfection

Food industries that process liquid products, such as milk, beer, and soft drinks, use CIP systems for disinfection. The principles are similar to those for manual cleaning, but mechanical force generated by the velocity of liquid flow through the system is relied on to remove food soils. CIP offers many advantages over manual sanitizing programs, including lower labor costs, more economic operation, better sanitation, faster cleanup and reuse of equipment, less dismantling and reassembly, and greater safety of use and operation (1). The CIP systems can be based on single or multiple use of cleaning solutions. Multiple-use systems are usually automatic, and solutions are recovered according to a preset program and stored in holding tanks for reuse. A typical CIP program is as follows (1):

1. Prerinse (5 min) with cold water.

3. Intermediate rinse (3 min) with cold water from mains.

4. Cold hypochlorite solution (10 min).

5. Final rinse (3 min) with cold water from mains.

For large tanks that would be uneconomical to fill with cleaning fluids, a permanent or portable spray system is fitted to the vessel. The spraying devices should allow every part of the inside of the vessel to come in contact with the cleaning solutions. Good drainage must be insured to avoid accumulation of fluids and residues on equipment surfaces.

Mechanical aids for plant sanitation include pressurized steam, high-pressure water jets, compressed air, and ultrasound. All of these cleaning aids require specialized equipment and have specific uses. High-pressure steam can remove debris and sterilize. High-pressure water jets also remove debris from inaccessible parts of machinery; however, such inaccessibility should be avoided in the design of food equipment and machinery. Compressed air removes dry powder, dust, and soil, but it spreads, rather than eliminates, the soil. Vacuum cleaners are preferable to compressed air for removing dry solids and dust. Ultrasound is used to clean small or sensitive items of equipment that are otherwise difficult to clean. It requires immersion of the objects in an ultrasound tank for exposure to ultrasonic vibrations, which remove soils by cavitation.

Foam sanitation is an efficient system for cleaning walls, floors, equipment with large contact surfaces, and immovable food-handling equipment. A foaming agent is added to the detergent formulation to produce a thick, long-lasting foam. This gives the cleaning agent a long contact time with the soiled surfaces. This form of cleaning requires a special pressure-generating system. The foam must be removed and the bactericidal agent applied. Foam systems give a good visible awareness of the sanitation process.

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