Cleaning is a prerequisite for effective sanitization

Sanitization begins with an effective cleaning program. Organic deposits from food residues, such as oils, greases and proteins not only harbor bacteria but may actually prevent the sanitizer from coming into physical contact with the surface that needs to be sanitized. In addition, the presence of organic deposits may actually inactivate or reduce the effectiveness of some types of sanitizers such as hypochlorites, rendering the procedure ineffective.

In large food processing establishment, a general protocol for maintaining good hygiene works according to the following protocol: large soils and residues are initially removed by scraping or other mechanical means and usually followed by a high pressure water pre-rinse. The detergent, appropriate for the soil being removed is then applied for a specified period, usually 15 minutes, followed by a potable water rinse to flush away residual soil and detergent.

Once this process has taken place and the surface is visually clean, The sanitizer can then be applied for the specified time recommended by the manufacturer. With sanitizer applications, a further rinse with potable water is not required nor is it recommended, since there is a high probability that in doing so, might result in re-contamination of the surface with micro organisms present in the rinse water.

In the removal of soil, a detergent functions in various ways involving both physical and chemical actions. These functions do not occur separately or in any particular sequence, but in a complex and interrelated manner. For cleaning a particular type of soil, certain functions are emphasized more than others to arrive at a balanced product. Surfaces which contain oily food residues might require a product which exhibits a high level of emulsification for fatty material, whereas those contaminated with protein residues usually respond best to highly alkaline and chlorinated cleaners.

Alkaline Water (AW) produced onsite as by-product of Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) is used as in significant a mild cleaning detergent and degreasing agent. AW, which consist of ~1000ppm Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH) is used prior to NEW, which consist 50-500ppm Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) to clean and disinfect. AW is a reducing agent and chemically reduces other substances, especially by donating an electron or electrons. AW is capable of bringing about the reduction of another substance as it itself is oxidized. AW has a very low surface potential and therefore can penetrate into the smallest cell. AW is very effective in place whereas protein prevents effective sanitation.

Regardless of the product used, effective cleaning is dependent on temperature, water hardness, pH of the water used, contact time and method of detergent application. Each establishment will have its own Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), which has been worked out often by trial an error until a proper combination of the variables have found to be both efficient and cost effective.

For more information on cleaning and sanitizing using Alkaline and Electrolyzed Water, please contact

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