Safety in the food and pharmaceutical industry is threatened by a topical major problem – the adhesion of microorganisms to surfaces, a phenomenon better known as biofilm.
Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms able to colonize and adhere to most surfaces (hydrophobic or hydrophilic, biotic or abiotic) by producing extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) which enable their further development. A mature biofilm becomes a critical source of contamination, due to the protection that EPS confer on it, and thus being difficult to eliminate as it puts up high resistance to conventional cleaning and disinfection procedures. Because biofilms simply need a hydrated environment and a minimum amount of nutrients to develop, they can be found in any environment where bacteria exist, whether it is natural, clinical or industrial. ITRAM HIGIENE in conjunction with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and a number of technological centres has carried out a research and developement project based on the study of biofilms, what they are like and how to remove them.
Our project is aimed at finding antibiofilm molecules naturally produced for the further development of cleaning products, which means replacing the traditional chemicals and obtain highly biodegradable and less aggressive products. This way, industries protect the environment, the health of the cleaning staff, their installations and increase safety at work, while they guarantee the hygiene of their facilities.
In the search for antibiofilm molecules, a number of alternatives have been detected to interfere in the various formation stages of biofilms. These alternatives include the use of:
· Benign microorganisms which fight undesirable microorganisms (pathogenic or spoilage organisms) to prevent colonization.
· Surfactants produced by the same organisms which do not allow adhesion to the surface.
· Molecules which interfere in the “Quorum Sensing” (communication between the cellules in the biofilm).
· enzymes which break the bonds between the polymeric extracellular substances thus leading to the degradation of the matrix which protects the biofilm.
Our technology for the removal of biofilms offers a single solution, as it combines enzymatic technology and surfactant chemistry, which makes it leading edge technology.
Enzymes are proteins which transform in an irreversible way organic matter into very small water-soluble residues.
Besides, because they are naturally produced they are completely biodegradable. The enzymes used in ITRAM HIGIENE’s range work specifically on extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) which form the biofilm’s structure, degrading it and enabling the detergent to eliminate the biofilm, thus leaving the bacteria exposed to be easily reached and eliminated during the disinfection stage.
Our range of enzymatic products are designed to remove biofilms in all types of facilities - in food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, in the health sector, and in organizations working with groups of people.
We offer a variety of treatments, adapted to each case.
· Neutral pH.
· Non corrosive effects on the materials of the surfaces.
· Low risk of exposure for the staff.
· Easily biodegradable composition.
· Environmentally friendly.
· Effective removal of biofilms.
· Preventive effects on the recurrence and spread of biofilms.
· Help in preventing costly contamination which might lead to undesirable problems involving health and technology.
· Enhanced cleaning efficency.
· Enzymes activate water purification processes thanks to their continuous action at a later stage.