The definitive solution to a complex problem

Safety in the food industry is threatened by one of the main problems of topicality, such as the adhesion of microorganisms to surfaces, a phenomenon known as biofilm.

Biofilms, detected in seconds, eliminated in minutes

Safety in the food and pharmaceutical industry is threatened by one of the main problems of topicality, such as the adhesion of microorganisms to surfaces, a phenomenon known as biofilm.

Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms capable of colonizing and adhering to most surfaces thanks to the production of extracellular polymeric substances (SPE) that facilitate their subsequent development. A mature biofilm constitutes a source of critical contamination, due to the protection given to them by SPE, and difficult to eliminate because they present a high resistance to conventional cleaning and disinfecting procedures. They can be found in all environments where naturally there are bacteria: in the natural, clinical or food industrial environment, since they only need a hydrated environment and a minimum presence of nutrients to develop. ITRAM HIGIENE,in conjunction with the Universidad Autónoma of Barcelona (UAB) and different technological centers, has carried out a research and development project based on the study of biofilms, how they are and how we can detect and eliminate them.

Stages of formation of a biofilm

Only the presence of a hydrated environment and a minimum amount of nutrients are necessary for the formation of biofilms, since these can be developed on practically any type of surface.

Biofilms increase the likelihood of contamination of the product and cause food infections, also affect the quality of the product, because many times there are changes in the product that cause a loss of quality and life product’s usefulness. They can also alter the surfaces, affecting for example the capacity of heat transfer, or facilitating corrosion processes.

Biofilms are invisible

One of the important stages for the elimination of biofilms is to be able to detect them. As an alternative to the traditional methods of detection of biofilms ITRAM has developed BIOFINDER, a method that allows to detect biofilms on surfaces in a matter of seconds.

Biofilm elimination

Biofilms can be combated with naturally occurring molecules.

The aim of our work has been to look for antibiofilms molecules produced naturally for the development of sanitizing products, i.e. replace traditional chemicals and obtain highly biodegradable and less aggressive products. In this way, the industries protect the environment, the health of the cleaning personnel and their facilities, increasing the safety of the workforce and, in turn, ensuring the hygiene of their facilities.

Our biofilm elimination technology offers an innovative solution, combining enzymatic technology and surfactant chemistry, which makes it an exclusive technology in the market.

Enzymes are proteins that irreversibly transform organic matter into small water-soluble waste. In addition, being naturally produced, they are completely biodegradable.

The enzymes used in the range of ITRAM HIGIENE act specifically on the extracellular polymeric substances (SPE) that form the structure of the biofilm, degrading it and allowing the detergent to eliminate the biofilm, leaving the exposed bacteria so that they can be easily eliminated during the disinfection phase.

Section of a biofilm.

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