In the multi-billion dollar beverage industry, it is crucial that manufacturers produce consistent quality. Limited returns allow for sustained enhancement of brand image and equity. Food and beverage processing relies on water as its main ingredient and water quality needs to be of the highest possible standard. Under typical conditions, process or ingredient water is filtered repeatedly before use. While this procedure is effective, other sources of microbial contamination do exist. If left unchecked, these will likely result in product contamination and spoilage.
GRAIN AND MILLING
Maximal production output of the highest quality product is paramount to a mill. The busy milling environment requires effective microbial control which is essential to the quality of the milled product. Without an effective decontamination process in place, grain mills risk producing a lower grade product sold at a lower price.
Quality consciousness and compliance with good manufacturing practice is a necessity. This assures optimal quality and extended shelf life of perishable products. Food-borne outbreaks of Listeria come from recontamination of meat products during processing. ECA solutions have shown to be 99% effective in the reduction of microbial count. The remaining microbiocidal activity of ECA after application will also control general microbial build-up and limit further cross contamination.
Starch manufacturing is a complicated and chemical intensive process. Quality production requires low levels of microbial contamination and minimal chemical residue in the manipulation of starch compounds. To produce starch of the highest pharmaceutical-grade, manufacturers must ensure a flawless manufacturing process avoiding exposure to contamination. Without which, starch manufacturers risk producing low grade product at a restricted trade price.
In a sauce plant, water quality is of the utmost importance as it is one of the primary ingredients in the manufacturing process. Often, municipal water is not re-treated and may create a microbial spoilage problem. Micro-organisms and bio film are ubiquitous in moist or damp environments. Manufacturers should also consider other areas of possible microbial contamination.
WATER WELLS (Boreholes)
Amongst the measures taken to ensure a constant supply of potable water, has been the development of rehabilitation techniques of boreholes or water wells. This is a practical method of restoring the original capacity (yield) without having to drill additional wells at high cost.
Shelf-life limits and spoilage of seafood is an ongoing dilemma for processors. In the factory environment, sea water is often used as a medium for transporting fresh fish from one processing point to the next. Throughout processing, sea water becomes progressively soiled allowing micro-organisms to flourish thus pre-empting spoilage. ECA solutions eliminate and control all pathogenic organisms, including Staphylococcus Aureus and E.coli (0157). ECA reduces the overall microbial bio-load of spoilage organisms, thereby substantially reducing the risk of cross contamination.
Legionella prevention for hot and cold water systems
Legionella has been identified as a major problem in multi-occupancy buildings such as hotels, hospitals, hostels, schools, military establishments, nursing homes and office blocks.
Worldwide thousands of people become seriously ill or die through infection by this potentially deadly disease. The costs if a buildings water system becomes infected can be substantial not only in terms of human suffering but also financially. If a hotel is identified as a source of infection it can result in forced closure whilst the problem is treated plus possible lawsuits if people are infected. This means substantial loss of revenues and reputation. In addition in many countries if it is shown that the problem occurred due to the negligence of the hotel or ship operators and staff it can result in large financial penalties or even prison sentences for the individuals concerned. Every year hotels throughout the world are forced to close due to this problem often in the height of the tourist season. Every year people die in hospitals not from the disease that they were being treated for but from infection by this deadly bacteria that they contracted from the hospitals water system. Due to the soaring price of energy many operators of these buildings reduce the overall temperature of the hot water system which can increase the risk of infection by the Legionella bacterium.
Municipal drinking water
To protect drinking water from disease-causing organisms or pathogens, it is often necessary to disinfect the water. The disinfection is often a two-step process:
Primary disinfection to secure the water from the water source.
Secondary disinfection to secure the water in the following distribution network and storage system.
The ECA technology is the only existing technology giving primary and secondary disinfection in one unit, and only a low level of free chlorine (0.3–0.5 ppm) is necessary to maintain an effective residual disinfection.
Reducing bacteria growth in Cooling Towers
Wherever you have water with temperatures between 20 and 50 deg C there exists the possibility for bacterial growth. Many of the bacteria are capable of attaching themselves to the sides of pipe work and tanks by extruding polysaccharide filaments. Over a relatively short period of time a layer of bio-film can build up to several millimeter’s thick. This bio-film has the following negative effects.
Bio-films encourage the formation of scale: The presence of scale affects the heat transference properties of the heat exchanger resulting in higher energy costs.
Bio-films act as insulators: One millimeter of bio-film can reduce the heat transfer through a heat exchanger by between 30 and 60 % resulting in the compressors and pumps having to “work harder” resulting in higher energy costs. Bio-films provide a breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria: Legionella live and replicate within a protozoa that lives in bio-films if you don’t have bio-films you don’t have legionella. Legionella bacteria if inhaled can result in death rates of up to 30%. Legionella outbreaks are becoming more and more common and if the source is traced back to a cooling tower, the operators can be very heavily fined or even imprisoned.
The merits of chlorination as a means of destroying bacteria in water is beyond dispute and the process is firmly and universally established. In recent years, however, the appearance of resistant strains of bacteria, the discovery of legionella and other problems associated with chlorine compounds have promoted an interest in alternative water purification systems amongst which ECA products are prominent.
Continuously injecting ECA solutions within a swimming pool render the swimming water safe without the adverse effects of chlorine. Envirolyte solutions destroy all bacteria, viral organisms, fungi and algae at a neutral pH level. This is particularly relevant for older skin which is more easily damaged by exposure to chlorine treated water.
By maintaining sterility of the filter beds, secondary contamination of the filtered water is prevented. The disappearance of chlorine smell, absence of burning eyes sensation and negative skin reactions all make the water a more pleasant environment to swim in.