Cleaning of production halls and equipment in food industry

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The aim of cleaning and disinfection of production halls and equipment is to remove product remnants from the foregoing process run, other contaminants and microorganisms in order to guarantee product quality, food safety, line capacity, heat transfer and optimum operation of the equipment (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005).


Cleaning of production halls and equipment is performed in all industries and production processes (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005).


Warm water under pressure is usually used for the cleaning of production halls and equipment. Processing equipment and production facilities are cleaned and disinfected periodically, with the frequency varying according to the products and processes. The cleaning can be carried out manually, e.g. using pressure cleaning, or automatically, e.g. using CIP. Manual cleaning generally requires the dismantling of the equipment to be cleaned (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005).


a) Changes in the process
  • Dry cleaning: (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
It is very desirable to remove from equipment and installations as much residual material as possible before they are wet cleaned. This can be applied both during and at the end of the working period. All spillages can be cleaned up by, e.g. shovelling or vacuuming spilt material or by using a squeegee, prior to wet cleaning, rather than hosing them down the drain. This reduces the entrainment of material into water, which would consequently have to be treated in either an on-site or municipal WWTP. This is enhanced further by transporting materials such as ingredients, by-products and waste from processing as dry as possible.
Dry cleaning is facilitated by, e.g. providing and using catchpots with a mesh cover, making sure suitable, dry clean-up equipment is always readily available and providing convenient, secure receptacles from the collected waste. Catchpots may be locked in place to ensure that they are in place during cleaning.
As well as manual dry cleaning of equipment and installations, other measures can be used, such as letting materials drain naturally, by gravity, into suitable located receptacles and by using pigging.
The cleaning procedure can be managed to ensure that wet cleaning is minimised and that the necessary hygiene standards are maintained.
The dry cleaning process results in:
1) reduced use of energy needed to heat up water for cleaning,
2) reduced water consumption and waste water volume,
3) reduced entrainment of materials in waste water,
4) increased potential for the recovery and recycling of substances generated in the process and
5) reduced use of detergents.
Dry cleaning is commonly used in the meat industry, the dairy industry, in the production of vegetables/fruits and in the production of wine.
  • Pre-soaking: (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
Floors and other equipment can be pre-soaked to loosen hardened or burnt-on dirt before wet cleaning.
  • CIP for equipment: (BAT in the Food, Drink and Milk Industries, June 2005)
CIP (Cleaning In Place) is a practice for cleaning tanks, pipelines, processing equipment and process lines by circulating water and cleaning solutions through them without dismantling the pipelines or equipment. The cleaning solution is pumped through the equipment and distributed by sprayers in vessels, tanks and reactors. The cleaning programme is mostly run automatically, and applies the following steps: pre-rinse with water, circulation with a cleaning solution, intermediate rinse, disinfection and final rinse with water. In automatic CIP systems, the final rinse water is often reused pre-rinsing or may be recycled/reused in the process. In CIP, high temperatures of up to 90°C are used, together with strong cleaning agents. CIP systems used for open systems like freezers are almost entirely automatic, except for some dry clean-up and opening hatches. Temperatures for medium pressure systems are normally below 50°C and the pressure is 10-15bar.
The most rational action is the incorporation of the CIP system at the equipment design stage and installed by the manufacturer.
The CIP systems result in the reduction of water and detergent consumption and in the reduction of energy needed to heat up the water for cleaning, because it s possible to set the consumption levels, specifying the use of only that required for the surface area to be cleaned. Although the capital cost is high, it’s possible to recover and re-use water and chemicals within the system, while there is a subsequent reduction in the amount of waste water generated.
CIP is used in many dairies, breweries and in the manufacture of instant coffee. It’s also used to clean the equipment used for the stabilization of wine.
  • Enzyme-based cleaners: (Guide to Energy Efficiency Opportunities in the Dairy Processing Industry, National Dairy Council of Canada,June 1997)
A recent advance in cleaning chemical technology has been the introduction of enzyme- based cleaners for clean in place (CIP) operations. Such cleaners offer the potential to reduce caustic and post-wash flushing requirements, as well as heating requirements for CIP processes. This reduces energy input requirements for CIP. Enzyme-based cleaning chemicals are now being introduced into the market.

b) Changes in the energy distribution system
  • Water heating by waste streams: (Joanneum Research)
The cleaning of production halls and equipment requires warm water. Waste streams can be recycled and used in heat exchangers for heating up the water for cleaning. This re-use of waste streams can reduce the energy consumption for the process.

c) Changes in the heat supply system

No information is available.