Summary and Conclusions:
Pilot Scale Research Results
The research reported herein evaluated the performance of the BioIonix process to provide effective microbial control on RTE products through a spray application immediately prior to slicing and packaging. A high bolus of Listeria innocua was used as a surrogate for pathogens. The findings were:
- BioIonix-treated water with low levels of salt provided effective pre-slicing microbial control on the tested RTE products. No chemicals or other microbial interventions were used. Full disinfection was achieved at free available chlorine levels of approximately 1.0 ppm.
- BioIonix also maintained proper microbial control as this water was recycled and reused for extended periods of time. This can permit a significant reduction in plant water use for this microbial intervention step.
Full Scale Commercial Installation
Following successful pilot scale testing, a full-size commercial system was installed in the customer’s plant in May, 2012. Three spray tunnels passing through the walls of the RTE slicing and packaging room shower water containing BioIonix SuperOxidants over the company’s RTE products. One BioIonix system feeds all three spray tunnels. The BioIonix system has been in daily operation since that time, with the following results:
- Effective continuous microbial control. The customer reports that it has not detected any pathogenic bacteria on its RTE products or in its entire slicing and packaging room since BioIonix was installed.
- Major cost savings. Customer was paying approximately $165K per year for an acidified sodium chlorite solution to provide microbial control prior to the installation of BioIonix. BioIonix eliminated this expense.
- Operator complaints stopped. Eye irritation, breathing issues and other operator health complaints were eliminated with BioIonix.
- Facilities corrosion prevented. Damage to concrete wall curbs, wastewater drains and equipment, a problem with the previous chemical treatment, was eliminated with the BioIonix process.
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