The final pilot tests that validate the earlier laboratory results in the washing and disinfection of minimally processed fruit and vegetables are already being undertaken at an industrial level. That is to say that the Citrocide® PLUS formulation has been evaluated as a disinfectant (dose, ranges, consumption, contact time, DBPs, etc.) and its industrial application by integrating the Citrocide® System into the KRONEN washing machines to fully automate and monitor the water sanitation process is underway.
Industrial washing conditions have been simulated at the VEGAMAYOR facilities in Navarra, with more than 3,000 kilos of raw material of different types of cut leaf, and more than 1,000 kg of processed carrots. During these industrial trials, we are working on scenarios in which treatments with different doses of Citrocide® PLUS are compared to control samples using chlorinated water.
Thus far, the results confirm that disinfection with Citrocide® PLUS is a very reliable alternative to chlorine for the minimally processed food industry, guaranteeing food safety for consumers, reducing the problems of DBPs (disinfection byproducts harmful to humans such as chlorates, chlorites or perchlorates) and avoiding the cross-contamination risks that go hand-in-hand with the use of chlorine.
In this European project, financed by Eurostars – a joint program between EUREKA and the European Commission and co-financed by the Member States of the Union through Horizon 2020 – Citrosol are responsible for imparting experience with Citrocide® systems to the fresh cut, washed and bagged produce industry. This knowledge integrated into the washing machine of the future, developed alongside KRONEN, the new Citrocide® System Fresh Cut is born, responding to the demands of the consumer markets and fulfilling the strictest environmental parameters.
End of 2019
While the CNTA, also collaborating in the same project, is processing the samples to analyze the microbiological and DBP aspects, in the absence of the final conclusions of the project closure – “one of the first impressions after the industrial pilot, is that use of the Citrocide® System contributes to reducing water consumption in KRONEN washing machines, making the process more sustainable by reducing the industry’s water footprint” explained Dr. Martín Mottura of Citrosol.
Furthermore, the Citrocide® System has demonstrated better control over, and improved monitoring of, the washing water disinfection processes in the Fresh Cut industry, establishing itself as the most sustainable, effective and efficient alternative to chlorine.
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