July 24, 2017

New gel technology fights bacteria more effectively

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David Cronier, BSc Biotechnology

Everyone loves a good home cooked meal, but when it comes to washing dishes and cleaning up, well—most of us probably delay this nasty task. But, no matter how much a of hassle we may think washing a few bowls and spoons is, it doesn’t even compare to the nightmare faced by the food industry when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing their premises. That’s why Sani Marc—a manufacturer and distributor of specialty cleaning and sanitation products for the food and beverage industry—recently launched “Chloragel”.

According to Sani Marc Sales Manager, Brian March, presenter at the recent Microbiology/Sanitation in Food Safety Breakfast hosted by NSF-GFTC, “there is room for improvement in industrial cleaning.”

March started off his talk by describing the standard methods of cleaning used in the food production industry.  “Typically foam type products consisting of cleaning agents and surfactants are sprayed onto surfaces using compressed air” he told us.The foam is left on the surface (usually 5-10 minutes) and then it is rinsed off.”

The food industry must adhere to strict sanitation standards and regulations. When undertaking to clean industrial Chloragelequipment and surfaces, some basic principles must be adhered to at all times. They include: Time of Contact, Mechanical Action, Chemicals, Temperature (TACT for short). This is something Sani Marc knows very well. And that’s why Sani Marc believes their new product “Chloragel” will prove to be a better choice. “This new product is designed with optimal thickness and stickiness—so it stays on surfaces longer than standard foam, allowing the cleaning agents to do a better job” explained March. Because of its properties, Chloragel works especially well on vertical surfaces.

Mr March showed us side by side pictures of gel and foam applications on vertical surfaces. The difference in stickiness between the gel and foam is like night and day. At the 5 minute mark, both products are still visible, but at the 15 minute mark the difference is clear. The foam had almost entirely disappeared, but the gel was still present. According to Sani Marc, this translates into better cleaning and the improvement was demonstrated by ATP and microbiological testing.

According to March, using Chloragel can represent substantial savings for food companies. Because of its greater effectiveness, some companies saw a 40-75% reduction in product use, which means less product is needed and less chemicals are wasted. And because the gel washes away faster, less water and time are needed for rinsing. March pointed out that some companies have seen savings of 100 000$ by switching to Cloragel.  To sum it up, Sani Marc’s Chloragel has the potential to improve cleaning, save on chemicals, water and labour.

This gel seems to work wonders in an industrial setting, so we asked Sani Marc representatives if this new gel technology full_toilet_cleaning_gel.jpgcould be the launching point for household gel type cleaners—especially for vertical surfaces such as shower walls? We know similar products such as, Scrubbing Bubbles already exist. “Not yet” we were told. “Sani Marc’s Chloragel is intended for industrial use.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see if gel technology catches on in the consumer market—so let’s keep our eyes open for new gel-type cleaners.

 

To view a short clip on Brian March’s presentation see below.

David Cronier, BSc, Biotechnology is currently a Consultant at nufoods international. He is responsible for articles related to new developments in food safety, microbiology and biotech.