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The term “cleaning” in the food processing industries refers to the treatment given all product contact surfaces following each period of use to remore all physical evidence of soil and to apply a bactericidal treatment to sanitize all surfaces. The normal period of use is less than one day and all equipment is thus cleaned at least once every 24 h.
Until recent years, cleaning of food processing equipment involved complete disassembly, manual cleaning by rinsing, brushing with solution, rinsing and sanitizing, and reassembly followed by application of sanitizing solutions just prior to processing. During the past two decades such manual cleaning procedures have been almost entirely replaced by Clean-In-Place (CIP) operations involving spray application or pressure recirculation of acid and alkaline detergent solutions under controlled conditions of time, temperature, and concentration. Such cleaning is essentially “chemical” in nature and processing equipment and CIP appurtenances are designed to permit the cleaning solution to be brought into intimate contact with all soiled surfaces and to be continuously replenished.
Stainless steel is a nearly universal material of construction for all processing and CIP equipment incorporated in such systems. It is generally possible to design and apply equipment and programs which can produce surfaces that are physically cleaned and nearly free of bacterial contamination. Experience has shown that solutions of strong alkalis, moderately strong acids, and sodium hypochlorides are highly effective in removing organic and mineral soils of almost any nature when these solutions are utilized in the proper combination or sequence.
cleaning, stainless steels, food processing, sanitation, food packaging
Seiberling, D. A.
Assistant vice president, Equipment-Engineering Division, Economics Laboratory, Inc, Beloit, Wis