Posts Tagged ‘Electrolyzed Water’

How bleach kills germs

August 27, 2013

Bleach has been killing germs for more than 200 years but it was only since 2008 that U.S. scientists figured out how the cleaner does its dirty work.

It seems that hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient in bleach, attacks proteins in bacteria, causing them to clump up much like an egg that has been boiled, a team at the University of Michigan reported in the journal Cell on Thursday.

The discovery, which may better explain how humans fight off infections, came quite by accident.

“As so often happens in science, we did not set out to address this question,” Ursula Jakob, who led the team, said in a statement.

The researchers had been studying a bacterial protein called heat shock protein 33, which is a kind of molecular chaperon that becomes active when cells are in distress, for example from the high temperature of a fever.

In this case, the source of the distress was hypochlorous acid or hypochlorite.

Jakob’s team figured out that bleach and high temperatures have very similar effects on proteins.

When they exposed the bacteria to bleach, the heat shock protein became active in an attempt to protect other proteins in the bacteria from losing their chemical structure, forming clumps that would eventually die off.

“Many of the proteins that hypochlorite attacks are essential for bacterial growth, so inactivating those proteins likely kills the bacteria,” Marianne Ilbert, a postdoctoral fellow in Jakob’s lab, said in a statement.

The researchers said the human immune system produces hypochlorous acid in response to infection but the substance does not kill only the bacterial invaders. It kills human cells too, which may explain how tissue is destroyed in chronic inflammation.

“Hypochlorous acid is an important part of host defense,” Jakob said. “It’s not just something we use on our countertops.”

This post has been posted in 2008. Mentioned Journal article available upon request.

THE SANITARIAN’S FILE Activated and Electrolyzed Water: A Brief Review of a New Generation of Cleaners and Sanitizing Agents

August 12, 2010

By Robert W. Powitz, Ph.D., MPH

August/September 2010

// A new technology has taken the housekeeping industry literally by storm this past year. It is activated water. The recent threat of an H1N1 pandemic severely impacting our public health prompted new and innovative ways for spot cleaning, particularly to clean frequently touched surfaces (frequently referred to as “high-touch” or “common-touch”) in institutions in which the flu finds an ideal fomital transmission environment, such as schools, hospitality, recreational and correctional facilities.

Because several states, as well as the U.S. Federal Government, are aggressively urging the housekeeping industry to embrace the concept of sustainability and green cleaning, coupled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Tools for Schools initiative, the housekeeping professionals have responded by seeking better ways of cleaning with products of lower toxicity and zero persistence in the environment. Not surprisingly, nothing meets this criterion better than water.

As sanitarians in the public health arena, we are not only concerned with cleaning but also with significantly reducing the bioburden as we clean. Additionally, by way of disease prevention, maintaining the potential bioloads of these surfaces as low as possible, under practical and cost-effective conditions, makes the use of water, in any form, ideal.

Disinfectant versus Sanitizer
However, before I go on to explain the phenomenon of activated water products and their potential use in the retail food industry, let me first take this opportunity to clarify the terminology we use in its description and to place activated water in the proper context of cleaning and bioload reduction.

Activated water closely fits the criteria of cleaner and “sanitizer” versus that of a “disinfectant.” To make this distinction, I found an excellent short lexicographic essay written by someone at Hillyard Chemical. I am taking the liberty of paraphrasing this piece for brevity of explanation.

The difference between a “disinfectant” and a “sanitizer” is one of application. Whereas the health care industry is mainly interested in “disinfectant” data, the foodservice-related industries guided by the Public Health Services are primarily concerned with “sanitizer” claims. The actual difference between the two terms is, to some extent, a matter of legal definition. In current American regulatory parlance, a disinfectant is a product that completely destroys all specific test organisms in 10 minutes under conditions of the AOAC Use Dilution Test, whereas a sanitizer is a product which destroys 99.999% (or a 5-log reduction) of specified test bacteria in 30 seconds under conditions of the Official Detergent Sanitizer Test. Obviously, both deal with different aspects of the same problem: killing bacteria.

Interest in the use of germicides used in hospitals centered on completely destroying all possible microorganisms. In the normal course of hospital application, it was felt practical to allow at least 10 minutes of contact time to accomplish this objective. As a result, most disinfectant tests were developed to ascertain whether any bacteria survived 10 minutes of germicide contact—nothing more, nothing less. In fact, when contact times significantly less than 10 minutes are allowed, it becomes very difficult to get any kind of meaningful results out of the Use Dilution Test.

In foodservice and other public health-related industries, interest in germicides took a different approach. It became obvious that the conditions of use differed from hospitals and that tests based on 10 minutes of contact time could not be satisfactorily interpreted. Public health professionals reasoned that 30 seconds was about all the contact time they could realistically expect. Nevertheless, the prevailing disinfectant tests could not yield 30-second results. Therefore, they developed their own test—the Official Detergent Sanitizer Test.

Because the public health scientists did not anticipate that they could actually get complete kill in 30 seconds with any practical chemical agent, they developed a test in which bacteria are actually counted. They found that a 99.999% reduction in 30 seconds with practical agents was quite acceptable for the intended application and adopted this standard. To distinguish these products from disinfectants, they called them sanitizers.

The 5-log reduction rule of sanitizing took on new meaning when applied to newer methods for getting surfaces biologically clean. Validation of surface cleanliness with particle counting and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) let us redefine “clean” in a completely different context: where the 5-log reduction in organisms could actually be obtained through the physical act of cleaning. This meant that on a smooth surface, we could accurately measure the initial bioburden in negative log numbers by increasing the area of the test in much the same dynamic as determining the more traditional D, Z and F values we use for temperature and mass differences. After cleaning, we can now easily determine 5-log reduction estimates by measuring total ATP levels. Since microbial removal is part of overall biological cleanliness, it can be assumed that we can achieve a state of ‘sanitization’ using the same criteria that we do for hot water rinses in warewashers. Thus, from the applied data found in refereed journals and contract laboratory analyses, activated water has found a niche in chemical-free cleaning, with results quite comparable to those of sanitizing agents. In short, when used judiciously and with validation, activated water can replace chemical sanitizers in many applications in the retail food industry.

How Activated Water Products Work
There is considerable confusion about how the current generations of activated water cleaning products work. First, they all start with plain, potable, tap water. The water must be conductive. While most conventional products clean and sanitize based on chemical reactions, the newer, solid-state-activated water sprayers and scrubbers work mainly on principles of physics and electrical engineering. Contrary to popular perception, the process is not solely or mainly based on typical electrolysis. The technology does however use electrolysis, causing almost imperceptible pH and other changes in water chemistry, but these barely measurable effects are not the “active ingredients” used to clean.

Applying a small amount of electricity to water breaks down the water’s molecules, lowering its natural surface tension and creating positively and negatively charged water ions. When applied to a surface in this electrolyzed form, water can spread to contact dirt, just as it does when mixed with chemicals. The charged ions in the water attach to the dirt and help lift it from the surface.

In addition, water electrolysis is actually applied to “create” charged, nano-sized gas bubbles in the water. These electrically charged bubbles attach themselves to dirt particles, causing the particles in turn to become charged and repel from surfaces, thus enabling soils to be suspended in water and wiped away. Soil removal performance tests were developed and conducted by the University of Massachusetts’ TURI Lab. Most testing was performed to a modified ASTM G122 Test Method, a modified version of the Green Seal GS37 standard, the CSPA DCC 17 – Greasy Soil Test Method or the CRI Carpet Spot Cleaning TM 110 standard. The results clearly show that activated water cleaning works effectively on most common soils, including those found in food production.

As a sanitizing agent, the main “ingredient” behind the germ-killing effect of modern activated water devices is electroporation. This is a scientific process that applies a low-level electrical field to bacteria or viruses. This electrical charge creates holes or “pores” in the membrane of the cell, which breaks down the walls of the bacterial cells and kills them. It is also believed that pathogenic viruses are affected in the same way. Only when the unit is activated in which the water acts as a conductor does electroporation occur. With the newer hand-held devices, this entails spraying the surface constantly for 6 seconds to sanitize it. EPA-compliant Good Laboratory Protocol tests show that it works and is an effective, broad-spectrum sanitizer. One of the benefits of the electroporation technology is that it does not require contact or dwell time for efficacy. Contact with the spray itself was shown to cause an immediate 3-log reduction without any additional help from flushing or mechanical soil removal. Furthermore, the electrically activated water is completely safe and returns to its natural state in about 30 to 45 seconds. Studies show that electrically activated water cleans as well as, or better than, traditional general-purpose cleaning chemicals.

Electrolyzed Water
There is yet another cleaning method that predates activated water but uses tap water and table salt. It is commonly dubbed electrolyzed water where ions are basically scrambled by an electric current. Unlike activated water, it relies on contact time for its efficacy as a cleaner and sanitizing agent. The generators use a combination of cell technology, salt and electricity to alter the molecular structure of water, creating a non-toxic, oxidized, antimicrobial solution that is capable of killing many pathogens in less than a minute. Opposed to smaller, hand-held devices with activated water, this is an in situ technology that has been used as an effective cleaner and broad-spectrum sanitizer for decades in Russia and Japan, and is finally winning acceptance here in the U.S. and Canada.

The sanitizing characteristics are a bit different in this technology. The high oxidation of the water first damages bacterial cell walls, allowing infiltration by water. The microbe reaches capacity, causing an osmotic, or hydration, overload. The acidic fluid and water floods the cell more rapidly than the cell can expel it, literally causing the cell to burst.

Although the initial cost for the water electrolysis unit is somewhat high, it can often be amortized in 1 year by replacing conventional cleaners in mop buckets, sprayers and anywhere harsher and more toxic cleaning chemicals are currently used or needed. In addition, it has no odor, nor does it produce foam, making it ideal for use in food production. There are numerous citations in the scientific and industry literature that this technology has effectively demonstrated excellent cleaning ability in the dairy, poultry and produce industries. Test results showed that for a dwell time between 7.5 to 10 minutes, electrolyzed water was as effective in removing organic matter as conventional treatments, making this technology ideal for general use in retail food establishments.

Conclusion
These technologies show great promise, limited only by our imagination. I predict that full approval and acceptance of both activated and electrolyzed water as cleaners and sanitizers in the retail food industry will soon become a reality.

On a personal note, activated water hand-held generators have been used in my home for general cleaning for over a year. I have used both ATP swabs and RODAC plates in various small experiments in which comparisons were made between activated water and brand-name household chemicals purchased from my local supermarket. I found virtually no difference between the two. Because the activated water generator is always available and requires a mere press of the trigger, it is used considerably more often than the conventional cleaners. Being a bit lazy, the idea that there is no additional bucket, dilution or mixing involved makes this technology particularly appealing. While it does not entirely replace all cleaning products, it has had a profound effect in reducing chemical use in my home (a good thing because I have a septic system) and has markedly improved overall cleanliness, particularly in the bathrooms.

If it works well for me, it certainly can work well in our industry. Going green has never been easier, and the more we know about these technologies, the greater the potential for overall food safety. As regulators, we need to embrace these technologies as soon as possible—regulations permitting. ♦

Forensic sanitarian Robert W. Powitz, Ph.D., MPH, RS, CFSP, is principal consultant and technical director of Old Saybrook, CT-based R.W. Powitz & Associates. Feedback or suggestions for topics you would like to see covered can be sent to him directly at Powitz@sanitarian.com or through his Web site at www.sanitarian.com.

©2010 The Target Group, Inc.   All rights reserved.

Cleaner and Greener – Electrolyzed Water in Hotels

May 21, 2010

The Oxford Hotel, Bend , OR, The Hyatt Regency hotel, Chicago, Il and the Sheraton Delfina, Santa Monica, CA  all use Electrolyzed Water — basically saltwater charged with electricity — as a sanitizer, degreaser and cleaner.

“It has replaced 98 percent of all cleaning products and because it lacks the chemicals most commercially produced cleaning solutions contain, the Electrolyzed Water is healthier for employees and guests. It is produced on site, so it saves shipping costs, eliminates pollution that would be produced by trucks delivering commercial cleaners, and means no empty cleaning containers end up in landfills.

Attached Video, shows you a System that manually generates Electrolyzed Water onsite.

Cleaner and Greener – Electrolyzed Water. (Click on link to start video)

Aquaox Systems are designed to automatically generate HOCL (sanitizer) and NAOH (cleaner) onsite. Aquaox Systems are remotely controlled and its onsite generated Electrolyzed Water may not only used to surface cleaning and sanitation, but may used to disinfect (drink)-water, disinfect waterlines, pools and spa’s. diluted with drinkwater, HOCL is used in foodcourts to sanitize vegetables, fruit and food contact surfaces. Onsite generated HOCL may also used to reduce aerosols and dust particles in HVAC-systems. Finally, NAOH and HOCL is used to significantly reduce laundry detergents.

For more information, visit http://www.aquaox.net.

EPA Regulations with regard to Onsite production, Usage, Storage and Transport of Onsite produced Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL).

May 10, 2010

M. van Schaik

Introduction

There is a lot of confusion whether Electrolyzed Water is allowed to be used as a disinfectant or sanitizer. EPA, FDA, USDA and local authorities have approved or allowed usage of Electrolyzed Water in many applications. Having said so, a few applications need more data about the efficacy of Electrolyzed Water and methods how disinfection or sanitation is guaranteed. Other applications may have a limitation on the HOCL concentration.  The following article explain what is and what is not allowed by the US Environment Protection Agency.

EPA Regulation with regard to Onsite PRODUCTION of pesticides with AQUAOX Devices

Under Section 3 of the Pesticide Regulations under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, as amended (FIFRA), the EPA regulates pesticides, which are registered and sold in interstate commerce to control various forms of vermin.

Under these regulations (Subpart Z –Devices Part 152.500  ‘Requirement for devices”) Pesticide Devices are not required to be registered, but must have an approved label which meet the Section 3 Regulations, Part 162.10, and have a registered establishment in which they are produced. Under Section 7 of the FIFRA each owner of a pesticide device must produce to the EPA enforcement program a report of products produced each and every year and to whom they are sold in a standard report form.

Devices which everyone has heard about are electrically generated, ozonators for use in treating drinking water, chlorinators which derive Free Available Chlorine from the electrolysis of water and sale, copper/silver cathodes which by electrically activity cause release of silver and cupper ions into drinking water in hotels and hospitals, invisible noise mechanisms which mediate insects and rodents in small areas.  In each case the device is unique and based upon the data which the device originator has in hand or can reference to EPA has a product which is efficacious and safe when used as directed.

Devices are subject to labelling and misbranding requirements under FIFRA section 2(p) and 2(q); registration and reporting requirements under FIFRA section 7; recording keeping requirements under FIFRA section 8; inspection requirements under FIFRA section 9; import and expert restrictions under FIFRA section 17; and child resistant packaging requirements imposed pursuant to FIFRA section 25 (c)(3).

AQUAOX devices hava an EPA establishment number and we report pursuant to Section 7 of the Act.  Basically our device, using electric current 230 volt, produces Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) on demand on site, which kills bacteria, mold, mildew, viruses and surface filling algae.  The device uses sodium chloride (table salt) in a liquid format in water and an electric charge to generate on demand HOCL-solution. HOCL (200ppm Free Available Chlorine) does the killing of the life forms.  When the electric has been turned off the device produces no HOCL-solution and has no residual in it.  Our device meets all the Section 3 labelling requirements and we pay close attention to all the FIFRA requirements so as to be fully compliant No product is produced from our device for storage or later use per regulations.

Electrolyzed water is approved under 21 CFR 173.315 for direct contact with processed foods. Electrolyzed water is approved for several indirect food contract applications under 21 CFR 172.892, 21 CFR 175.105, 21 CFR 176.170 and 21 CFR 177.2800. It is an approved sanitizer that meets 21 CFR 178.1010. The EPA has also given approval (40 CFR 180.1054) for washing raw foods that are to be consumed without processing.

40 CFR 180.940. HOCL when used as ingredient in an antimicrobial pesticide formulation may be applied to: Food-contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy-processing equipment, and food-processing equipment and utensils. When ready for use, the end-use concentration of all Hypochlorous Acid chemicals in the solution is not to exceed 200 ppm determined as Free Available Chlorine

AQUAOX device does not require a hazardous use permit whereas chlorine in bottles must be permitted for filling, transportation or storage.

In case of doubt or for clarification AQUAOX LLC should be consulted. We are unable to anticipate all conditions under which the product may be used, and users are advised to carry out an assessment of workplace risk and carry out their own tests to determine Safety and Suitability for the process and conditions of use.

EPA regulation with regard to the USAGE and STORAGE of Neutral Electrolyzed Water generated on-site from an AQUAOX device

Under the FIFRA, EPA does not regulate water or sodium chloride (table salt) as a pesticide when used in an AQUAOX device that generates a pesticidal solution (HOCL).

The 0.2% HOCL-solution generated by the AQUAOX device is not regulated by the EPA as a pesticide as long as the solution itself is used on-site (i.e. where it is generated). If however, the solution is packaged, distributed or sold for use other than the site at which it was generated, then the product is subject to registration as a pesticide under FIFRA.

Accordingly, applying the solution on-site in e.g. 1 gallon containers would not be subject to registration, but distributing and selling the product for use other than at the site of generation would be subject to registration. Finally, the AQUAOX Device is considered to be a pesticide device and is subject to the requirements specified in 40 CFR 152.500.

As long as the HOCL-solution is applied on-site, no EPA requirements under FIFRA apply other than those specified above. EPA recommends, however, that the operator of pesticide devices provide labels for plastic containers with HOCL-solutions, so that workers and others will know what is in the containers and what precautions and directions should be followed handling and using the solution.

Thus, temporary storage of the HOCL-solution is allowed, as long as HOCL-solution is used on-site.

Finally, the operator of the AQUAOX device should check as to state and local regulatory requirements that may apply to the AQUAOX device and the generated solution.

EPA regulation with regard to TRANSPORT of Neutral Electrolyzed Water generated on-site from an AQUAOX device.

Under FIFRA, EPA does not provide a clear rule and this need to be further investigated. Most probably EPA will NOT permit transport as onsite produced HOCL-solutions are strictly intended to be used on-site.

AQUAOX’ interpretation of the FIFRA is that transport of HOCL-solution within the on-site location is permitted, as long as HOCL-solution is used on-site.  Thus, transport of HOCL-solution in e.g. 1 gallon container to another department, building or place within the operator’s organization, company and/or location is permitted, as long HOCL-solution is used within the operator’s organization, company and/or location.

Accordingly, storage in trucks should be permitted, as long HOCL is used within the operator’s organization, company and/or location. In AQUAOX’ opinion Onsite generated HOCL is permitted to be transported over the public road to another location to be used within the operator’s organization, company and/or location is. However, FIFRA is very unclear about this particularly kind of transport. Likewise the EPA, AQUAOX recommends to provide labels and a MSDS of HOCL on all containers or trucks filled with HOCL.

On top of this AQUAOX advices to have a FUNCTIONAL and WORKING AQUAOX device on each truck, to be used for onsite generation of HOCL, if a user is going to transport HOCL to a client for executing a service such as e.g. fogging a premises or spraying a surface.

EPA regulation on on-site generated pesticides BOTTLED, PACKAGED, STORAGED and DISTRIBUTED (SOLD).

If the onsite produced HOCL is bottled, packaged, stored, distributed and sold, the HOCL-solution is subject to registration as a pesticide. Thus, if HOCL is bottled, packed and sold as a liquid, the user of AQUAOX’ Device MUST register HOCL as a pesticide to obtain a registration number for HOCL.

The registration of the onsite generated HOCL MUST be in the operator’s name and the operator will be exclusively responsible for the produced pesticide.

Footnotes:

AQUAOX is NOT involved in bottling, packaging and distributing pesticides. AQUAOX manufactures, distribute and sell AQUAOX devices which are regulated by the EPA as onsite pesticide devices.

AQUAOX does not permit their distributors to register HOCL (onsite generated pesticide) as a pesticide.

AQUAOX does not advocate, nor promote users (owners/ final users of the AQUAOX Device) to register HOCL as pesticide. AQUAOX rejects all liability, if users do not comply with the FIFRA regulations for onsite pesticide devices. AQUAOX does not advocate or promote the usage of HOCL otherwise than used onsite.

For more information, visit www.aquaox.net

Electrolyzed Water Applications in Facilities

April 22, 2010

AQUAOX Systems produce onsite cleaning and antimicrobial liquids. Through ancillary equipment, these cleaning and antimicrobial liquids are automatically delivered throughout the facility. Users of the AQUAOX System, will receive these liquids by opening designated color-coded faucets installed throughout the facility.

Attached is a brief list of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting applications for these onsite produced liquids.  The list also include the recommended dosage and method of usage based on proven science.

Aquaox will provide additional information about the AQUAOX System, its usage within a facility, cleaning and antimicrobial liquids, and all technical information regarding the AQUAOX System.  This document will provide a good overview of the variety of applications in our simple automated AQUAOX System, which provides cost saving benefits with reduced toxic exposure to chemicals for your employees.

Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) also known as Anolyte is an activated aqueous solution of sodium chloride produced by passing a weak saline solution through an electrolytic cell and temporarily changing the properties of the salt water into a powerful oxidizing agent exhibiting antimicrobial properties.

Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) is produced near neutral 6.5 pH where the predominant antimicrobial agent is Hypochlorous Acid, the most efficient and efficacious specie of chlorine. Hypochlorous Acid kills microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, algae, spores, staff infections/MRSA and viruses).

The properties of NEW can be precisely controlled within the AQUAOX System. NEW can be applied as liquid, mist/fog or spray. NEW is a colorless, aqueous solution with a slight chlorine or ozone odor. NEW is produced on site and intended to be used soon after being produced. NEW must be used within 30 days of production.

NEW is convenient, used for general disinfecting, for use on nursery surfaces, bathroom surfaces,  athletic facilities, equipment and ideally for hospital use. NEW will not harm hard non-porous surfaces including titanium-coated medical grade stainless steel.

NEW can be used neat or diluted with drinking water to reduce the free available chlorine. Hereafter are various applications described with instructions for usage. The NEW applications are color-coded with the same color as the designated faucet to be opened to receive NEW of a required strength.

Product Safety Color-Code System
Color Code FAC Product Category
Orange 500ppm Neutral Electrolyzed Water (HOCL)
Yellow 200ppm Neutral Electrolyzed Water (HOCL)
Blue 50ppm Neutral Electrolyzed Water (HOCL)
Green n/a Alkaline Water (NAOH)
Purple 5ppm Neutral Electrolyzed Water (HOCL)
White 1ppm Neutral Electrolyzed Water (HOCL)

Alkaline Water (AW) also known as Catholyte consist of Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH), commonly known as caustic soda, lye, or sodium hydrate. Sodium Hydroxide is a caustic compound which attacks organic matter. Caustic soda is available commercially in various white solid forms and as solutions of various concentrations in water.

Sodium hydroxide provides functions of neutralization of acids, hydrolysis, condensation and replacement of other groups in organic compounds of hydroxyl ions. Sodium Hydroxide removes waxes and oils from fiber to make the fiber more receptive to washing, bleaching and dying. Sodium hydroxide is also widely used in making soaps and detergents. Sodium hydroxide is occasionally used in the home as an agent for unblocking drains. The chemical mechanism employed is the conversion of grease to a form of soap, in doing so forming a water soluble solution to be dissolved by flushing; also decomposing complex molecules such as the proteins of hair. Sodium hydroxide is frequently used as an industrial cleaning agent where it is often called “caustic”. It is added to water, heated, and then used to clean the process equipment, storage tanks, etc. It can dissolve grease, oils, fats and protein based deposits. The sodium hydroxide solution can also be added to surfactants. A sodium hydroxide soak solution is used as a powerful degreaser on stainless and glass bake ware. It is also a common ingredient in oven cleaners.

Alkaline Water (AW) is a less concentrated than commercial available Sodium Hydroxide solutions and has the same applications, although its dosage is different. AW is a mild detergent and degreaser which is very useful for cleaning surfaces prior to sanitizing or disinfecting.

General sanitation and disinfecting:

Hypochlorous Acid (~500ppm)
Dilution Key Applications and Description
Neat (undiluted) To sanitize and disinfect laundry, use 1 quart  (40 oz) of NEW per standard washer. Use 2 to 3 quarts (80-120 oz) for extra large washers or heavenly soiled loads. Use a detergent.
Neat To disinfect non-porous surfaces such as floors, walls and showers, rinse surfaces thoroughly with NEW and allow NEW to remain on surface for 2 minutes or preferably allow to air dry.  Clean surfaces with a cleaner to remove heavy debri prior to disinfecting
Neat To disinfect toilets, pour 1 quart (40 oz) NEW into bowl. Brush Bowl thoroughly, making sure to get under the rim and let NEW stand for 2 minutes. Flush and pour 1 quart (40 oz) into bowl.
Neat To disinfect work surfaces (not utensils), spay NEW on surface using a coarse spray. Allow 2 minute contact time then wipe dry. Clean work surfaces after each use, scrub with hot suds and rinse with cold water prior to disinfecting.
Neat To disinfect hard non-porous surfaces floors, mob and scrub NEW. Let stand 2 minutes.
Neat To sanitize brushes, mops and brooms, soak for 2 minute in NEW. Allow to Air dry.
Neat To sanitize pails and dustpans, remove heavy dirt prior to cleaning. Wash with NEW and let stand 2 minutes. Air dry.
Neat To deodorize and sanitize garbage cans/diaper pails, remove heavy dirt with a cleaner. Rinse. Pour NEW in garbage can/diaper pail and swap surfaces with NEW. Rinse. Rinse surfaces with NEW and allow to air dry.
Neat To clean and decontaminate surfaces/object soiled with blood/body fluids, spray or flood surface with NEW. Let stand for 2 minutes and wipe dry.
Neat To disinfect walks, benches, tools, plant containers and to eradicate plant parasitic nematodes, plant disease-causing fungi, apply NEW directly on surface. Scrub New on surface and allow to air dry.
Neat To control fungus and mildew on asphalt or wood roofs and sidings, apply NEW by brushing and spraying roof or siding. Allow to air dry.
Neat To disinfect spas/hot tubs manually, add 1 gallon NEW per 100 gallons of water to obtain a free available chlorine concentration of 5ppm before and after each use.
Neat To disinfect bio aerosols (airborne microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, mycotoxins and viruses), fog or mist a room using an ultrasonic humidifier with NEW. Follow directions for usage of specific to humidifier for calculating exposure time in relation to volume air.
Neat To clean and disinfect HVAC evaporator coils and condensation drip pans and prevent odors by reducing microbial and fungal HVAC growth, fog or mist NEW on the inlet side of the evaporator coil. Then saturate coil with NEW and allow to remain wet for ten minutes. Allow to air dry. To clean drip pans: Empty any standing condensation from drip pan. Pre-clean drip pan with NEW and wipe surfaces dry. Saturate cleaned pan surfaces with NEW, allow to remain wet for ten minutes and air dry.

Sanitation and disinfecting in Food processing and Service Establishments.

Hypochlorous Acid (~200ppm)
Dilution Key Properties and Description
4:10 (4 parts NEW in 10 parts Drinking water) To sanitize food contact surfaces (not utensils), spray surface with NEW. Let stand 1 minute and wipe clean. Clean work surfaces prior to disinfecting by scrubbing surfaces thoroughly with hot suds.
4:10 To sanitize dishes, glassware and utensils: Wash thoroughly in hot suds. Rinse and then soak 1 minute in NEW. Drain dry
4:10 To sanitize cutting boards: Wash thoroughly in hot suds. Soak cutting boards in NEW for 1 minute. Rinse with NEW. Allow to air dry prior to usage.
4:10 To disinfect sink and sanitizing dishcloth(s): This should be a routine follow-up to dishwashing. First wash sink and rinse dishcloth(s) in hot suds. Fill up sink with NEW. Saturate dishcloth(s) in NEW, then use it to wipe sides of sink. Soak dishcloth(s) in NEW for 1 minute. Then drain dry sink. Allow dishcloth(s) to air dry.
4:10 To sanitize ice-machines, freezers, blenders or mixers. First wash surface with hot suds. Spray NEW on surface. Let stand 1 minute and wipe fry with clean cloth.
4:10 To sanitize food eggs, spray the eggs with NEW. Allow the eggs to fully dry before casing or breaking. Wash eggs prior to sanitizing.
4:10 To clean and sanitize milking machines and utensils: Immediately before and after usage, flush equipment with lukewarm water until running clear. Thoroughly mix 1 oz of regular detergent with each gallon of NEW. Circulate NEW through the system for 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain machine and rinse utensils with NEW. Air dry.
4:10 To disinfect food cases, food trays, dish racks and drain boards: Wash thoroughly in hot suds. Rinse and then soak 1 minute in NEW. Drain dry
4:10 To clean and sanitize meat processing machines and utensils. Wash thoroughly in hot suds. Rinse and then soak 1 minute in NEW. Drain dry
4:10 To clean and sanitize bakery equipment, spray NEW on surface. Let stand 1 minute and wipe dry with clean cloth. Prior to sanitizing, wash surface thoroughly in hot suds.
4:10 To disinfect exterior surfaces of appliances, microwaves, freezers, ovens, stoves, salad bar sneeze guards and hoods: Spray NEW on surface. Let stand 1 minute and wipe dry. Prior to disinfecting, wash surfaces with hot suds.
4:10 To disinfect (outdoor) furniture, spray NEW on surface. Let stand 1 minute and wipe dry. Prior to disinfecting wash surface with hot suds.

Washing food to be consumed:

Hypochlorous Acid (~50ppm)
Dilution Key Properties and Description
1:10 (1 part NEW per 10 parts of water) To clean fruit and vegetables, fill a clean wash tank with NEW and submerse fruit or vegetables for 2 minutes. Spray and rinse fruits and vegetables with NEW. Rinse with cold water prior to packaging.  Make sure that NEW in wash tank has a minimum of 25ppm free available chlorine. Use tests strips to determine free available chlorine and when NEW wash tank should be replaced.
1:10 To clean potatoes, fill a clean wash tank with NEW and submerse potatoes for 2 minutes. Spray and rinse potatoes with NEW prior to packaging.

General cleaning:

Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH)
Dilution ey Properties and Description
Neat To wash laundry, use 3 quarts  (120 oz) of AW per standard washer. Use 1 gallon (160 oz) for extra large washers or heavenly soiled loads. Use 5% of commercial available detergent.
Neat To wash heavenly soiled laundry, soak fabrics in AW for 10 minutes then rinse with hot water prior to washing.
Neat To wash non-porous surfaces such as floors, walls and showers, scrub surfaces thoroughly with AW and allow AW to remain on surface for 2 minutes. Add a droplet of commercial available suds into AW.
Neat To clean surfaces such as handles, clean-up carts, light switches, sinks, tubs, tiles, shower doors, tables, mirrors, toilet seats, plastic mattress covers, lockers, etc…: Spray AW on surface and scrub surface. Allow AW to remain on surface for 1 minute. Wipe dry or as preparation for sanitizing allow to air dry. Add a droplet of commercial available suds into the AW.

Sanitation and disinfecting for swimming pools, spas and hot tubs. The following NEW applications are executed by automatic dosing of NEW into circulation water

Hypochlorous Acid (< 5ppm)
Dilution Key Properties and Description
1:100 (1 part NEW per 100 parts water) For each new filling of your pool, spa or hot tub, use following initial dosage of NEW:  1 gallon NEW to 100 gallons water.  Measure free available chlorine and pH of water with test strips. pH must be between 7.2 and 7.6.  Free available chlorine must exceed 1ppm.
1:100 Chlorinating wading pools,  use 1 part NEW to 100 pars of water. Scatter over surface of pool. Free available chlorine must exceed 1ppm. Empty pools daily.
1:100 Periods of disuse and between fillings of pool, spa or hot tube,  add 1 gallon NEW to 100 gallons of water. Free available chlorine must exceed 1ppm.
1:100 Pools, spas and hot tubs with a circulation and filtration system: add NEW to circulation water after filtration and before skimmers. Dosage of NEW is continuously whilst pool is in usage.  Add automatically 1% NEW to the circulation water. Free available chlorine must exceed 1ppm.
Automatic Pools, spas and hot tubs with pH and free available chlorine monitoring: Dose NEW into circulation water after filtration and before skimmers.  Set dosage of NEW, so that at ALL times more than 1ppm free available chlorine is measured in the water. Dosage depends on chlorine consumption and number of swimmers.

Disinfecting of drinking water to be consumed by human beings. The following NEW application is executed by automatic dosing of NEW into water mains.

Dilution Hypochlorous Acid (<1ppm)
Automatic To disinfect drinking water, prevent legionella, growth of algae or biofilm. Automatically dosing NEW into the water mains in a dosage that ensures a free available chlorine of at least 0.2ppm and no more than 0.6ppm at the end of the water lines. Check water frequently with a chlorine test kit. Do not exceed dosage of 10ppm.

How to Make Sanitization of Food Related Areas

April 10, 2010

Posted by: admin In: Food Safety and Hygiene

Cleaning

Cleaning is a prerequisite for effective sanitation. Cleaning is the removal of organic matter, using appropriate detergent chemicals under recommended conditions. Organic matter from food residues such as oils, grease and protein not only harbors bacteria but can actually prevent sanitizers from coming into physical contact with the surface to be sanitized. In addition, the presence of organic matter can inactivate or reduce the effectiveness of some types of sanitizers, making sanitization ineffective.

In order for cleaning to be performed properly, the right cleaning agents must be selected for the job. Cleaning agents commonly used include the following:

• Detergents contain surfactants to reduce surface tension between food soil and the surface so the detergent can penetrate quickly and lift off the soil from the surface.

• Solvent cleaners contain a grease-dissolving agent that can be used in areas with burned-on grease.

• Acid cleaners are used on mineral deposits that alkaline detergents cannot remove.

• Abrasive cleaners are used to remove heavy accumulations of soil often found in small areas. The abrasive action is provided by small mineral or metal particles, such as fine steel wool, copper or even nylon.

sanitation

Sanitizing

Sanitization follows cleaning. Sanitization is the application of heat or chemicals to a properly cleaned (and thoroughly rinsed) food-contact surface, yielding a 99.999% reduction of representative pathogenic microorganisms of public health importance. Sanitization is not sterilization. Sterilization is the process of destroying all living microorganisms, not just pathogens. Other terms (and their definitions) that are sometimes confused with sanitization and that should be noted are the following:

Antiseptic—used against sepsis or putrefaction in humans or animals.

Disinfectant/Germicide—applied to inanimate objects to destroy all vegetave cells, not spores.

Bactericide—kills a specific group of microorganisms.

Bactericidal—prevents the growth of a specific group of microorganisms but does not necessarily kill them.

The two sanitation methods commonly used in retail/food service establishments are heat and chemicals. Their application standards, as defined in the 2009 Food Code, are as follows:

Heat. In dish-machines, the temperature of the fresh hot-water sanitizing rinse as it enters the manifold cannot be more than 194 °F (90 °C), less than 165 °F (74 °C) in a stationary rack, single-temperature machine or less than 180 °F (82 °C) in all other high-temperature dish-machines. In three-compartment sinks, the water temperature must be at least 171 °F (77 °C).

Chemicals. Chemicals approved as sanitizers for food-contact surfaces in retail/foodservice establishments are chlorine, iodine and quaternary ammonium.

Factors that influence the efficacy of chemical sanitizers include the following:

Concentration. Too little will result in an inadequate reduction of microorganisms; too much can be toxic, corrosive to equipment and can lead to less cleanability over time.

Temperature. Sanitizers generally work best between 55 °F (13 °C) and 120 °F (49 °C).

Contact time. To kill microorganisms, cleaned items must be in contact with the sanitizer for the manufacturer-recommended time.

The presence and nature of the organic and/or inorganic in-activators on the surface. Some of these are present in detergent residue or soil from an improperly cleaned surface and might react with sanitizers. Thus, it is important to properly clean and rinse prior to sanitization.

The nature of the material surface. Sanitizers react differently with plastic, glass, metal and wood.

The surface area, topography and geometry of the surface. A rough surface will be more difficult to sanitize than will a smooth surface.

The nature and species of any residual microorganisms on the surface. Microbial load can affect sanitizer
activity.

Type of microorganisms present. Spores are more resistant than vegetative cells. Gram-positive bacteria are known to respond differently from Gram-negative bacteria when exposed to sanitizers. Sanitizers also vary in their effectiveness against yeasts, molds, fungi and viruses.

Also, testing devices must be used to measure the concentration of chemical sanitizing solutions because the use of chemical sanitizers requires minimum concentrations of the sanitizer during the final rinse step to ensure sanitization and too much sanitizer in the final rinse water could be toxic. To accurately test the strength of a sanitizing solution, one must first determine which chemical is being used—chlorine, iodine or quaternary ammonium. The appropriate test kit must then be used to measure concentration.

Chemical sanitizers are registered for use on food-contact surfaces through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Prior to approval and registration, the EPA reviews efficacy and safety data as well as product labeling information. At present, the effectiveness of chemical sanitizers used in retail/food-service establishments is determined using one of two methods: the AOAC Germicidal and Detergent Sanitizers Method against Escherichia coli ATCC 11229 for quaternary ammonium compounds, chlorinated trisodium phosphate and anionic detergent-acid formulations or  the AOAC Available Chlorine Germicidal Equivalent Concentration Test against Salmonella typhi ATCC 6539 for iodophors, mixed halides and chlorine-bearing chemicals. The FDA is involved in evaluating residues from sanitizer use that might enter the food supply. Thus, a sanitizing agent and its maximum usage level for direct use on food-contact surfaces must be approved by the FDA.

Public concern about the environmental impact of chemicals has lead to the development of other sanitization methods that have potential for use in retail/foodservice establishments.

Ozone. The ozone molecule (O3) is an antibacterial agent that is very effective at oxidizing and destroying organic and other compounds on equipment and surfaces. As of June 2001, ozone was approved by the FDA as an additive to kill foodborne pathogens. Because it is a gas, ozone leaves no toxic residues on treated surfaces. However, it could be corrosive to various surfaces at high concentrations, and care must be exercised during its generation because overexposure can result in bodily injury.

Peracetic acid (PAA). An organic acid, PAA is produced by the reaction of acetic acid with hydrogen peroxide. In the retail/foodservice industry, it is being promoted as a potential chlorine replacement that can be used at a concentration of 150 to 200 ppm on food-contact surfaces. At this concentration, it is capable of killing microorganisms in addition to removing deposits of milk stone and hard-water scales, suppressing odors and stripping biofilms from food-contact surfaces. PAA is not very effective against bacterial spores, and it may be more expensive when compared with other sanitizers.

Electrolyzed water. Electrolyzed water is a good sanitization method** because it has antimicrobial properties, is not corrosive to skin, mucous membranes or organic material, is safe to handle and has little adverse effect on the environment. Electrolyzed water shows effectiveness against a wide range of microorganisms. It can be produced easily using common salt and an apparatus connected to a power source. Because the size of the machine is quite small, electrolyzed water can be manufactured on site. Although its cost is low, electrolyzed water can be corrosive to certain metal surfaces***.

While heat and chemicals are currently the most commonly used sanitization methods, other new methods—such as ozone, PAA and electrolyzed water—show great promise for use in the retail/foodservice environment. The bottom line is “Don’t compromise—clean and sanitize.”

** No reference is made to the fact that when Neutral Electrolyzed Water is produced onsite, simultaniously Alkaline Water is produced. Alkaline Water has a pH of 11.5 to 12.5 and it’s active ingredient NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) is a very powerfull cleaner and degreaser. Aquaox Systems produce approximately 20% NaOH and approximately 80% HOCL measured in volume.

*** Neutral Electrolyzed Water with it’s active ingredient HOCL (Hypochlorous Acid) has a pH of 6.2. to 6.8 and is therefore not corrosive. Neutral Electrolyzed Water is produced onsite by stand-alone fully automated remotely controlled Aquaox Systems. For more information on Aquaox Systems, visit http://www.aquaox.net/Systems.html

DOSING OF SANITIZER SOLUTIONS

March 25, 2010

Accurate dosing is a prerequisite for efficient and cost-effective sanitation. The equipment and procedures which are used to deliver sanitizer solutions vary and depend on the specific application for which they were intended and the industry being serviced.

a. FOOD PLANTS

In large food processing plants, daily clean-up necessitates sanitation of all food contact surfaces. Measured quantities of sanitizer are generally transferred from the drum into a large (500 to 1000 liters) dedicated tote, using a calibrated metering pump. The required volume of water is then added to a predetermined level to make up the end-use solution. The amount of sanitizer which the pump is capable of delivering is based on the volume displaced by each stroke of the pump and the time period that the pump is in actual operation. The volume of each stroke can be adjusted and fine tuned rendering the system capable of dosing accurate and consistent concentrations of sanitizer. More sophisticated equipment (and more expensive) use wall mounted pumps which are electronically connected to water flow meters. As water flows into the dispensing tote, it triggers the pump to operate on an intermittent basis to deliver calibrated quantities of sanitizer, with each transfer to the tote of a predetermined volume of water. This intermittent cycle of dosing provides for a more uniform mixing of sanitizer with water. To insure complete dispersion of sanitizer in solution, large storage tanks also have auxiliary pumps and the capability of recirculating the solution for several minutes.

Since effective sanitization in food processing plants is a crucial step in the over all clean up procedure, the crew leader will usually sample the diluted sanitizer solution using either a test kit or test paper. Once adjustments and verifications, if required are made, the sanitizer solution is applied under low pressure onto the food contact surfaces and the excess is allowed to freely run off. Low pressure applications are preferable since they reduce the risk of generating airborne mists which can cause dislodge bacteria to become airborne and transported over great distances. Following sanitization, a potable water rinse is not required nor is it recommended. Flat horizontal or vertical surfaces can either be air dried or allowed to remain wet. The later method is the preferable one and used more frequently. Leaving the surface wet prevents airborne bacteria which may settle on food processing equipment and tables from surviving therefore decreases the risk of contamination.At start-up of operations during the following shift, the remaining residual sanitizer can be rinsed off prior to handling food products. This is not a mandatory or regulatory requirement since sanitizers used in food processing plants also have clearance for incidental food contact at the concentrations used.

b. SUPERMARKET PROGRAM
The areas within a Supermarket deli, meat and bakery sections are relatively small and the equipment requirements for clean up and sanitation can be carried out with simple equipment. Blades, knives, saws, scrapers, and other small utensils are disassembled from the food cutting or processing equipment and placed into a three compartment sink. First, they are allowed to soak in a detergent solution which is dispensed into the sink through a wall mounted plunger type of hand pump. The components are then rinsed with water in the middle sink and sanitized by immersion into the third, sanitizer-containing compartment. Sanitizer is dispensed into the third sink compartment in a manner similar to that used to dispense detergent.
The stationary portion of the equipment as well as the cutting tables are first cleaned with a high foaming detergent then sanitized with a low level disinfectant such as a quat. The equipment used in this type of operation is usually a commercial version of a garden hose sprayer and using city water pressure as a means of delivering product to the affected surfaces. Water flowing through the hose also creates a partial vacuum within the garden sprayer resulting in sanitizer solution being drawn up and mixing with the water stream as it flows past the garden sprayer’s orifice. Commercial units designed for sanitizer application are accurately calibrated by the manufacturer to dispense a 0.2% solution, which is equivalent to 200 ppm quat (10% active) or 200 ppm available chlorine (10% sodium hypochlorite).
Small, pressurized portable tanks into which a prediluted sanitizer solution has been added also finds use in this application, especially in enclosed areas where sanitizer has to be applied to surfaces that are not readily accessible. Such a system makes use of the pressurized contents to direct a stream of sanitizer over a larger distance than would be possible with a garden sprayer using city water pressure.

c. HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES
Large hospitals and nursing homes usually dispense use-solution from stationary, central units; each one located on a separate floor. Frequently these units operate by mechanical action alone and dispense product using the principles encountered above; suction of product as a result of an internal vacuum which is created through the flow of water past an orifice. A typical installation is wall mounted with a single hose connected to the city water input line, and contains from 1 to 5 separate dedicated hoses capable of dispensing several products. Adjusting the orifice diameter at the end of each dispensing hose, results in dilutions varying from 1:256 to 1:20.
To maintain control in small hospitals and nursing homes, 1 to 2 gallon of end use solutions are prepared and then transferred into smaller, trigger sprayer type dispensers which can easily be used by the house keeping staff. Critical areas, such as operating rooms which require high level sanitation, use specialized computer assisted dosing and rinsing equipment.

d. RESTAURANTS
Aside from the routine clean up and sanitization of food contact surfaces and food preparation utensils, the bulk of the cleaning and sanitization in restaurants is in mechanical ware washing. In small restaurants, the dish washing product is usually a powder manually fed into the machine and also provides a source of available chlorine for sanitization. Sufficient product, whether or not needed for the soils encountered must be used in order to provide a residual available chlorine level of 100-200 ppm; a level which is required under most municipal health codes.
In restaurants serving a large number of meals daily, it becomes more economical to meter product into the ware washing equipment via rotary pumps which accurately dispense the quantity of chemical required. The larger ware washing units are equipped with a 3 head rotary pump dispensing unit and each pump is calibrated according to the amount of chemical dispensed per rotation of the pump and the number of rotations per minute. Once properly adjusted, detergent, rinse aid and sanitizer can be accurately dosed at the different required concentrations.

ONSITE PRODUCTION OF CLEANING AND SANITIZERS

AQUAOX Systems produce onsite cleaning and antimicrobial liquids. Through ancillary equipment, these cleaning and antimicrobial liquids are automatically delivered throughout the facility. Users of the AQUAOX System, will receive these liquids by opening designated color-coded faucets installed throughout the facility.

These onsite produced cleaners (NaOH) and sanitizers (HOCL) are capable to replace or significantly reduce the usage of  chemical cleaners and sanitizers resulting in cost-savings and less health risks for the cleaning crew.

In my next blog, I will provide a a brief list of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting applications for these onsite produced liquids.  The list also include the recommended dosage and method of usage based on proven science.

For more information, please contact aquaox@comcast.net

HOW SANITIZERS EXERT THEIR GERMICIDAL ACTIVITY

February 25, 2010

When bacterial cells are exposed to a sanitizers or disinfectant, various physical structures within the cell may sustain irreversible damage. The permanent loss of a bacterial cell’s capability to reproduce is commonly referred to microbial death. In the presence of germicides, some bacteria, may only be partially damaged. A surface which is swabbed immediately after sanitization can often provide false or negative results, indicating that effective sanitization had occurred. However, depending on the degree, partially inactivated bacteria have the capacity to “heal” or regenerate within 18 to 24 hours and become viable. Such an “apparently” clean and bacteria free surface will show the presence of high levels of bacterial contamination the following day and if left unchecked, can contaminate food products which may come into contact with the surface during the normal course of food processing.
The effectiveness of a specific germicide is a function of several factors, including the number and type of microorganisms which are present on the surface being sanitized.
Some of the factors requiring consideration are whether they are the easy to kill bacteria in their vegetative state or whether they are present on the surface as highly resistant spores. A major consideration that also needs to be addressed is whether other materials such as blood, feces or organic matter are are present within the bacterial environment. These contaminants reflecting an unclean surface, can rapidly inactivate some germicides, such as hypochlorites, rendering them ineffective for their intended use.
In general however, germicides exert their effect by either attacking a specific part of the bacterial cell, or causing damage to some of its components. Germicides can fall into three classifications, based on the their method ot bacterial attack.

a. CELL MEMBRANE DESTRUCTION
Germicides such as sodium hypochlorite of peroxyacetic acid (PAA), are strong oxidizing agents and can cause total destruction of the cells membrane, resulting in vital bacterial components leaking out into their surrounding environment. This process results in a true microbial death.

b. INHIBITION OF FOOD UPTAKE AND WASTE EXCRETION
Some germicides, such as the quaternary ammonium compounds (quats), have the capacity to attach themselves onto specific sites on the bacterial cell membrane. They do this by virtue of the fact that the quats carry a positive electrical charge in solution and are attracted to the negatively charged portions of the bacterial membrane. The end result is that quats block the uptake of nutrients into the cell and prevent the excretion of waste products which accumulate within their structure.
In effect, the cell is both starved and internally poisoned from the accumulated wastes.

c. INACTIVATION OF CRITICAL ENZYMES
Biocides, such as phenolics, which exert their activity in this manner actually enter the cell and chemically react with certain key enzymes which support either cell growth or metabolic activities which supplies the bacteria with the energy needed for growth and multiplication. If inactivation is incomplete the injured bacteria can regenerate several hours later and recontaminate the surface.

ELECTROLYZED WATER: METHOD OF ACTION

It is presumed that viral infectivity is supressed, due to the denaturing and break down of the viral protein necessary for infection, though a reaction of that protein with two types of active oxygen present in the Water:
1.Electrolyzed Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL)
2.Hydroxyl radicals (OH)
It is widely believed that the bactericidal effect of Electrolyzed Water (HOCL-solution) against various strains of bacteria is due to the combined action of hydrogen ion concentration, oxidation-reduction-potential (ORP-reactions) and dissolved chlorine (HOCL).
First, ORP-reactions at the cell membrane damage the outer and inner membrane and inactivate the microbes defense mechanism. Then HOCL can penetrate the cell and oxidize it.



Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl, which is electrically neutral) and Hypochlorite Ions (OCl, electrically negative) will form Free Available Chlorine  (FAC) when bound together. This results in disinfection. Both substances have very distinctive behavior.

The cell wall of pathogenic microorganisms is negatively charged by nature. As such, the negatively charged Hypochlorite Ion (OCL-) can only penetrate it by the neutral Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL), rather than.

HOCL itself can penetrate slime layers, cell walls and protective layers of microorganisms and effectively kills pathogens as a result. With the aid of ORP-reaction, HOCL can even easier penetrate cell membranes. The microorganisms will either die or suffer from reproductive failures.

According to Dr. Cloete, the advantages of onsite generated HOCL has been confirmed, wherein the biocidal activity of HOCL generated onsite, is 300 times more active than Sodium Hypochlorite at the same concentration of free available chlorine. Additionally, a concentration of 2% HOCL achieved same results than 0,05% Gluterhaldehyde. Similarly, it has been shown that a 5% solution of Sodium Hypochlorite (only to be used as disinfectant) has equal results than 0.03% HOCL (which can be used as disinfectant and as sporicidal agent).

Thus, Electrolyzed Water (HOCL-Solutions) have been conclusively shown to exceed chemically derived equivalents both in low dosage effectiveness as well as physico-chemical purity.

Michel van Schaik, http://www.aquaox.net

HOW BACTERIA BUILD UP RESISTANCE TO SANITIZERS

February 20, 2010

There are three reasons that cause bacteria to become resistant against commercial available sanitizing or disinfecting products.

a. RESISTANT BACTERIA AND SUB-LETHAL SANITIZER DOSAGE

In any given population, bacteria exist within a wide range of sensitivities towards a specific sanitizer dose. Under normal conditions of exposure, sanitizers are capable of destroying 99.999% of the bacteria present. In essence, a surface which initially harbor 1,000,000 bacteria per square centimeter prior to sanitation may be expected to contain only 10 microorganisms per square centimeter afterwards. In such a scenario, the objective of the sanitation process has been achieved in the sense that the total bacterial population has been reduced to safe levels.

What may not be as evident is that the remaining 10 surviving microorganisms capable of withstanding the sanitization procedure, have the potential to act as a source of future contamination. If on subsequent clean up and sanitization, proper dosing or procedures were not adhered to, or the surface has not been adequately rinsed, the 10 surviving bacteria will survive a second cycle of sanitization, as will other bacteria. Over a period of time and involving several cleaning and sanitization cycles, the resistant survivors have the capacity to proliferate, especially during periods in which they are exposed to food product. When this occurs the food processing plant is now dealing with a bacterial population which no longer responds to sanitizing doses of germicide, resulting in a failure of the sanitizer to achieve its objectives. In essence by applying the sanitizer at less than lethal doses or for shorter intervals, the end result is the same as if selective culturing of a resistant strain had been carried out with the possibility of the surface becoming enriched with pathogens and hard-to-kill microorganisms.
A surface which is allowed to deteriorate to such a level of poor hygiene, needs to be “shocked”, by switching to high doses of an alternate product such as hypochlorite and dosing at disinfectant levels. It is not uncommon to require the use 400+ ppm of available chlorine over a period of a week before the surface can be returned to the desirable and bacterial free state.

b. BIOFILM FORMATION

Biofilm formation is another mechanism, in which bacterial resistance towards a sanitizer can occur. As previously indicated, proper cleaning is essential before effective sanitization can occur. Certain bacteria, secrete a polysaccharide which is a constituent of their membrane. These secretions are very sticky and attach themselves firmly to metal surface. The resulting film so formed containing trapped bacteria is referred to as a biofilm. Bacteria which are responsible for biofilm formation may in themselves not be harmful or pathogenic. However, the gelatinous matrix which they excrete is capable of attracting to itself and embedding pathogenic bacteria, such as Lysteria monocytogenes. Although the pathogens themselves do not contribute towards the integrity of the film, they nevertheless are capable of contaminating products which come into contact with the surface.
Biofilms are often very difficult to remove, since their matrix is very resistant to chemical attack by detergents. They often require higher than normal concentrations of alkaline detergents and strong oxidizing levels of sodium hypochlorite in order to remove them. Several applications may be required before the biofilm can be totally removed.

c. DETERGENT-SANITIZER INTERACTIONS

Most cleaning products contain either non-ionic surfactants (emulsifiers and detergents), anionic surfactants or a mixture of both in their composition. In solution, non ionic surfactants are electrically neutral, but anionic surfactants carry a negative charge within their structure. When detergent is applied to a soiled vertical surface the bulk of product runs of within 15 to 20 minutes. However, a small but finite amount of detergent remains on the surface and contains some of the anionic surfactant which was present in solution originally applied to the surface. If the surface is not thoroughly rinsed prior to the application of a quat sanitizer, the sanitizer can be totally inactivated. In solution, quats are positively charged and can therefore combine readily with the negatively charged anionic residue and become totally inactivated.

A metering system may be set to deliver the correct concentration of quat (200 ppm), but once the sanitizer comes into contact with the surface, it reacts with the anionic detergent, and the resulting anionic-quat residue or film so formed has no germicidal activity. Since an anionic-quat complex so formed also contains nutrients favoring microbial growth. Such a complex can actually support bacterial proliferation if left unchecked.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) is a strong oxidizer with hypochlorous acid (HOCL) as active ingredient. HOCL has superior germicidal properties compared to commercial available products. Moreover, as NEW has a very high oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), microorganisms are effectively and 100.00% destroyed. ORP reactions at the cell membrane are the main cause that microbial cells cannot defend themselves when exposed to NEW. Once ORP-reaction have weakened the cell membrane, HOCL is able to penetrate cells and destroy the microorganisms from inside. The last 25 years, a lot of research has been done to explain the superior biocidal activity of NEW. Most scientist believe that ORP reactions, dissolved chlorine (HOCL) and oxygen are the main reasons for NEW’s superiority. Up to now, not a single occurence has been discovered whereas bacteria were able to become resistant against NEW.  It is therefore that scientist who studied the unique features of NEW are convinced that NEW IS the answer to combat hard-to-kill organisms.

More information can be obtained by visiting http://www.aquaox.net.

Anti-microbials, disinfectants, sanitizers and sterilants

February 13, 2010

Introduction

An antimicrobial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoans. Antimicrobials either kill microbes (microbicidal) or prevent the growth of microbes (microbistatic). The terminology often associated with antimicrobials can be confusing or misleading and in many cases there is an overlap in function. Another word for microorganism is germ. Consequently, an antimicrobial is the same as a germicidal agent. Disinfectants are antimicrobials (or germicidal agents) used on non-living objects. Sometimes, an antimicrobial is considered a sanitizer, sometimes a sanitizer depending the use concentration of the antimicrobial.

In order to clarify some key terms which are often used interchangeably, I have attempted to define the meaning of the products under discussion in their legal sense.

    Microorganisms

Microorganismes are too small to be seen by the naked eye.Microorganisms are very diverse; they include bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists; microscopic plants (called green algae); and animals such as plankton and the planarian. Some microbiologists also include viruses, but others consider these as non-living.

    Bacteria

Bacteria are unicellular microorganisms. Bacteria are either beneficial and protective to the immune systems or cause infectious diseases. Bacteria that causes infectious diseases are called pathogens.

    Fungi

Fungi are eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms.

    Spores

In biology, a spore is a reproductive structure that is adapted for dispersal and surviving for extended periods of time in unfavorable conditions. Spores form part of the life cycles of many bacteria, plants, algae, fungi and some protozoans. Some pathogens transform from their normal or vegetative state to form spores and are difficult to eliminate since they can resist the effects that sanitizer or disinfectant exposures have on bacteria. Elimination of spores is carried out by specialized chemical agents or physical means, and require several hours for total microbial destruction.

    Disinfectant

A disinfectant is a germicidal agent which is capable of destroying disease causing bacteria or pathogens, but not spores and not all viruses. From a technical and legal sense, a disinfectant must be capable of reducing the level of pathogenic bacteria by 99.999% during a time frame greater than 5 but less than 10 minutes. The main difference between a sanitizer and a disinfectant is that at a specified use dilution, the disinfectant must have a higher kill capability for pathogenic bacteria compared to that of a sanitizer.

    Sanitizer

In general, to sanitize means to reduce the number of microorganisms to a safe level. One official and legal version states that a sanitizer must be capable of killing 99.999% known as a 5 log reduction, of a specific bacterial test population, and to do so within 30 seconds. A sanitizer may or may not necessarily destroy pathogenic or disease causing bacteria as is a criteria for a disinfectant. An alternate definition is that a hard surface sanitizer is a germicidal agent which is capable of killing 99.9% ( 3 log reduction), of the infectious organisms which may be present in a bacterial population, within 30 seconds.

    Sterilants

Sterilants are specialized chemicals, such as glutaraldehyde or formaldehyde, which are capable of eliminating all forms of microbial life, including spores. The term sterilant conveys an absolute meaning; a substance can not be partially sterile.

Future developments of germicidal agents

The future effectiveness of antimicrobials is somewhat in doubt. Microorganisms, especially bacteria, are becoming resistant to more and more antimicrobial agents. Bacteria found in hospitals appear to be especially resilient, and are causing increasing difficulty for the sickest patients–those in the hospital. Currently, bacterial resistance is combated by the discovery of new drugs. However, microorganisms are becoming resistant more quickly than new drugs are being made available; thus, future research in antimicrobial therapy may focus on finding how to overcome resistance to antimicrobials, or how to treat infections with alternative antimicrobials.

Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) also known as Anolyte is an activated aqueous solution of sodium chloride produced by passing a weak saline solution through an electrolytic cell and temporarily changing the properties of the salt water into a powerful oxidizing agent exhibiting antimicrobial properties. Neutral Electrolyzed Water (NEW) is produced near neutral 6.5 pH where the predominant antimicrobial agent is Hypochlorous Acid, the most efficient and efficacious specie of chlorine. Hypochlorous Acid kills microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, algae, spores and viruses).

The properties of NEW can be precisely controlled within Aquaox EC-Systems. NEW can be applied as liquid, mist/fog or spray. NEW is a colorless, aqueous solution with a slight chlorine or ozone odor. NEW is produced on site and intended to be used soon after being produced. NEW must be used within 30 days of production.

NEW is convenient, used for general disinfecting, for use on nursery surfaces, use on bathroom surfaces, use in athletic facilities, for use on athletic equipment and suitable for hospital use. NEW will not harm hard non-porous surfaces including titanium-coated medical grade stainless steel. NEW can be used neat or diluted with drinking water to reduce the free available chlorine.

Alkaline Water (AW) also known as Catholyte consist of Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH), commonly known as caustic soda, lye, or sodium hydrate. Sodium Hydroxide is a caustic compound which attacks organic matter. Caustic soda is available commercially in various white solid forms and as a solutions of various concentrations in water.
Sodium hydroxide provides fuctions of neutralisation of acids, hydrolysis, condensation. saponification and replacement of other groups in organic compounds of hydroxyl ions. Sodium Hydroxide removes waxes and oils from fibre to make the fibre more receptive to washing, bleaching and dying. Sodium hydroxide is also widely used in in making soaps and detergents. Sodium hydroxide is occasionally used in the home as an agent for unblocking drains. The chemical mechanism employed is the conversion of grease to a form of soap, and so forming a water soluble form to be dissolved by flushing; also decomposing complex molecules such as the protein of hair. Sodium hydroxide is frequently used as an industrial cleaning agent where it is often called “caustic”. It is added to water, heated, and then used to clean the process equipment, storage tanks, etc. It can dissolve grease, oils, fats and protein based deposits. The sodium hydroxide solution can also be added to surfactants. A sodium hydroxide soak solution is used as a powerful degreaser on stainless and glass bakeware. It is also a common ingredient in oven cleaners.

Alkaline Water (AW) is a less concentrated than commercial available Sodium Hydroxide solutions and has the same applications, although dosage is different. AW is a mild detergent and degreaser very useful for cleaning surfaces prior to sanitizing or disinfecting.

For more information, please contact aquaox@comcast.net or visit www.aquaox.net