Hygienic washing of minimally processed fruit and vegetables is carried out using the CITROCIDE® FRESH-CUT SYSTEM which effectively acts as a “firewall”, making the wash a Critical Control Point (CCP) to avoid cross-contamination, improve food safety and reduce surface contamination that would otherwise shorten the shelf life of cut produce.
Citrosol developed the CITROCIDE® SYSTEM, for washing Fresh Cut and Minimally Processed produce to automatically monitor and control the washing and disinfection processes. With it, we control the concentration of CITROCIDE® in the wash water, continuously maintaining the optimal dose to provide maximum efficacy at all times (Figure 1).
Today this system offers an excellent solution for hygienic washing of pepper, tomato, avocado, mangoes, sweet potato, citrus and garlic cloves. Microbiological contamination of the entire product is drastically reduced, thus eliminating contamination of the pulp during subsequent cutting processes.
Disinfection with Citrocide® PLUS is a highly reliable alternative to chlorine, since it guarantees food safety for consumers, reduces the problems associated with DBPs (disinfection byproducts, harmful to humans such as chlorates, perchlorates and trihalomethanes -THMs-, among others) and avoids the risks of cross contamination that go hand in hand with the use of chlorine.
Its use is authorized by AECOSAN as a technological adjuvant in the washing of Fresh Cut and Minimally Processed produce, and in the washing of citrus, pepper, tomato, peeled garlic, avocado, sweet potato, persimmon and mango and, furthermore, it is certified by CAAE as an input for ecological agriculture (organic farming).
To add to that, the Citrocide® System, significantly reduces water and energy consumption in the wash, making the process more sustainable by reducing the water and carbon footprints of the Fresh Cut industry.
Figure 1: Real data from a CITROCIDE® SYSTEM installed in Almería (Spain) in an industrial line washing peppers
The CITROCIDE® SYSTEM acts as a barrier that prevents cross contamination by keeping the wash water in hygienic conditions, whilst also disinfecting the surfaces of the washing machine
Figure 2: Surface contamination in two industrial pepper washers, one with Water (blue bars) and the other with the CITROCIDE® System (orange bars) after 4 hours of pepper washing. (cfu/cm2 = colony forming units per cm2; MyL=Molds and Yeasts; AMT = Total Mesophilic Aerobes; EB = Enterobacteriaceae; < LOD = below the detection limit). STUDIES CARRIED OUT BY LABCOLOR, COEXPHAL, ALMERÍA, December 2013)
The Citrocide® System is an integral system that guarantees the food safety of the final product with hygienic washing that effectively reduces surface contamination of F&V (Figure 5). It dramatically decreases the microbiological contamination of the entire product, thus also eliminating the contamination of the pulp that may otherwise occur during the cutting processes.
Figure 5: Colony Forming Units for Total Mesophilic Microorganisms (MAT) (a), Total Coliforms (b) and Fungi (c) per gram of avocado (cfu / g) after being washed in a chlorine drencher (Drencher ) and after being washed with a CITROCIDE® System (S.CITROCIDE); n.d. * = not detected. Studies carried out by CNTA-Peru, August 2016
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