Hygiene and cleaning are of paramount importance to the beverage industry, but they also cause considerable costs in terms of production interruptions and consumption of energy, water, chemicals and working hours. At the same time environmental demands urge for reduction in water consumption and the use of more environmentally friendly chemicals. With the help of novel functional coatings the attachment of microbes on process surfaces can possibly be reduced, or their removal facilitated. Another means to improve process hygiene could be physical disinfection means. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology have in close co-operation with the brewing industry and providers of coating and disinfection technology, applied new coating techniques to process surfaces, as well as UVC disinfection and air ions as physical disinfection methods during production. In addition, the aim has been to adapt cleaning chemicals to function along with new surfaces and disinfection methods. Different photocatalytic TiO2 coatings and hydrophobic low energy coatings have been studied in laboratory and process studies. Microbiological results from photocatalytic coatings have been variable, and it seems that they may be more active against bacteria as compared to eukaryotic yeasts and moulds. Coatings supplemented with Ag ions reduced numbers of attached microbes significantly in laboratory studies, and this effect was also seen in some process tests. Low energy coatings reduced microbial coverage significantly in laboratory studies, but similar effect on attached microbial numbers was not seen in process studies. In laboratory washing studies low energy coatings were washed slightly more efficiently than stainless steel. UVC killed 99.999% of microbes on the surfaces when the dose was high enough in laboratory experiments. Air ions worked most efficiently on gram negative microbes. These novel means have potential for the management of brewery hygiene, but at least functional coatings need more development in order to make them withstand process conditions and be really functional there.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Scandinavian Brewer's Review|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|MoE publication type||D1 Article in a trade journal|