The aim of this study was to determine whether process hygiene in the beverage industry could be improved by applying new coating techniques to process surfaces. Photocatalytic titanium dioxide (TiO2) and hydrophobic coatings applied to stainless steel with or without added antimicrobial compounds were studied in laboratory attachment tests and in a 15-month process study. No clear reductions in numbers of attached microbes were obtained with photocatalytic coatings, except for coatings to which silver had been added. These TiO2+Ag coatings reduced microbial coverage in laboratory studies and in some process samples. Hydrophobic coatings reduced the area coverage of microorganisms in 4-h laboratory studies but did not affect colony counts in laboratory or process studies. The surfaces had changed from hydrophobic into hydrophilic during the process study. The coatings did not mechanically fully withstand process conditions; part of the hydrophobic coatings had peeled off, most of the precipitated Ag had dissolved, and some of the TiO2 coatings were damaged. In conclusion, functional coatings have potential for reducing microbial loads on beverage industry surfaces, but these coatings need further development.
Priha, O., Laakso, J., Tapani, K., Levänen, E., Kolari, M., Mäntylä, T., & Storgårds, E. (2011). Effect of photocatalytic and hydrophobic coatings on brewery surface microorganisms. Journal of Food Protection, 74(11), 1891-1901. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-11-008