FOOD PREPARATION GLOBAL MARKET SIZE
Market research estimates that the global antimicrobial food sanitizing market size will exceed revenues of over $2.1 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of over 7% during the forecast period while the Food Processing Solutions industry generated revenues worth USD 58,250.45 million in the year 2019. The Food Processing Solutions market represents ready-to-eat foods that fit urban lifestyles. Meat, Poultry and seafoods represent major market segments while Bakery & Confectionery, Fruits & Vegetables, Dairy and other products compose the entire market. Currently, the largest market share of processed food demand originates from India, China, Indonesia, and Thailand. Growth factors include urbanization, large populations, increase in health awareness, and rising disposable income.
CONTAMINATION IN FOODS
According to food preparation research, there are three ways that foods can become: biological, chemical and physical. In addition, food contamination from commercial kitchens is a common occurrence. The effects of food contamination have devastating results on personal health and the business that sold the products. Massive food recalls have occurred as seen in the news from eggs to meats.
Biological contamination of foods is caused by microorganisms – bacteria – that cause illness. Bacteria such as botulinum, listeria, and e-coli have triggered global food recalls.
Chemical contamination of foods arises from cleaning chemicals, unwashed produce, non-food-grade plastic containers, pest control products, and food preparation equipment requiring chemical maintenance (ex. oils) that cause contamination in foods the equipment comes in contact with.
Physical contamination of foods occurs when physical objects touch foods being prepared. These factors include hair, glass and metal, jewelry, dirt, and fingernails.
Cross-contamination occurs when a contaminated a physical object, surface, or a person comes in contact with foods. Common sources of cross-contamination in food preparation include clothing, utensils, food handlers, pests, raw foods coming in contact with prepared foods, and waste management.
With so many ways that prepared foods can become contaminated, it is vital to address all sanitizing in a commercial food preparation environment to know the most safe, cost-effective solution available.
TRADITIONAL SANITIZATION METHODS
According to food research, pathogenic bacteria can be killed using heat, radiation, or chemicals. The most popular way of sanitizing in the food industry is with chemicals. However, the FDA Food Code has approved only a few sanitizers for use on surfaces including quaternary ammonium, iodine, and chlorine.
With microbe awareness at an all time high, improper use of sanitizing products is noted by a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) to cause “abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, internal bleeding, scarring of tissue leading to permanent narrowing or abnormal anatomy and, potentially, even death”.
To know which method of sanitizing is effective, knowing each mode of action is critical in the decision-making process with food preparation.
Sodium hypochlorite is chlorine gas dissolved in sodium hydroxide; this is essentially household bleach. Both are toxic and produce respiratory illness. With improper pH of water used to dilute chlorine, the chemical composition becomes more acidic and damages surfaces including metals; stainless steel is widely used in food manufacturing.
For sanitizing dishes, it is noted that, “A chlorine sanitizer should have a concentration of 50 to 100 ppm in water between 75° and 100° F, with a needed contact time of about 7 seconds” and “bleach loses its sanitizing capacity rapidly as it has exposed to oil and organic materials”.
Sanitizing surfaces with chlorine bleach requires accuracy, time and an extensive application process for effectiveness. To use chlorine bleach for surfaces, wash the surface with soap and water, allowing the surface to dry. Apply bleach for 10-minutes of “wet time” then rinse with water allowing the surface to dry. The effectiveness of bleach is up to 24-hours only if accurate water pH is used to wash and rinse the surface. If hypochlorite is exposed to acid, chlorine gas will be released. Chlorine gas adversely affects the health of food service preparation workers.
Iodine is noted as an effective compound for food processing sanitizing with microbes including bacteria, yeasts, and molds. The ratio is 12.5 to 25 parts per million is ideal for maximum iodine effectiveness. Iodine-based food sanitizing products are used on cleaned, hard, non-porous food contact surfaces and eating, drinking, and food preparation utensils.
Personal protection equipment is needed for use of iodine-based surface sanitizers (goggles or face shield, protective clothing, and rubber gloves). For sanitizing dishes, one reference states no more than 120° F water temperature. Iodine lasts longer than chlorine in contact with organic compounds, yet iodine is not as gentle on skin as “quats”.
However, if iodine comes in contact with chlorine, it creates iodic acid. Iodic acid is highly toxic to humans as noted in safety materials data sheets as “for use in laboratories” and “not for food, drug, pesticide or biocidal product use”. Severe health reactions in humans from iodic acid include skin burns, irritation of the nose and throat that cause difficulties breathing if inhaled. Iodic acid can burn the eyes and possibly cause blindness, and iodic acid can burn holes in the stomach if swallowed.
QUATS – BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE (BZK)
Quaternary ammonium (quats) for sanitizing dishes leverages its positively charged cations to attract negatively charged microbe (bacteria, virus) particles. Quats are non-corrosive and are often preferred to chlorine. Quats do not damage metals including stainless steel. Ammonium is nonirritating to the skin, as it holds similar properties as detergents and can withstand more soil compared to chlorine before requiring additional applications.
For sanitizing dishes, a concentration of 150 to 220 ppm in a minimum of 75° F water and “wet time” of approximately 30-seconds is ideal.
For addressing surfaces with quats, GlanHealth’s unique formulation incorporates benzalkonium chloride that has been safely use in sanitizing for nearly 90-years.