The application of sanitizers is essential to reduce pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms present in food facilities and equipment. Soils must be completely removed for sanitizers to function properly.
The major classifications of sanitizers are thermal, radiation, and chemical. Thermal and radiation techniques are less practical for food production facilities than chemical sanitizing. Of the chemical sanitizers, the chlorine compounds tend to be the most effective and the least expensive. However, they are known to be more irritating and corrosive than the iodine compounds or quaternary ammonium compounds (quats). Bromine compounds are more beneficial for wastewater treatment than for sanitizing cleaned surfaces, although bromine and chlorine are synergistic when combined. The quats are more restrictive in their activities but are effective against mold growth and have residual properties. They do not kill bacterial spores but can limit their growth. Acid-quat and chlorine dioxide sanitizers are considered to be effective for the control of L. monocytogenes, and ozone is a potential chlorine substitute. Silver has been identified as an effective antimicrobial agent. Glutaraldehyde and fatty imidazoline compounds can be incorporated as a sanitizer for conveyor lubricants used in food operations. Various tests are available to determine the concentration of sanitizing solutions.
KeywordsAcid sanitizers Chloramines Hypochlorite Iodophor Ozone Pasteurization Quats Sanitizer
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