Dairy cleaning-in-place system with ozone

Isa Mert Tanriverdi

Isa Mert Tanriverdi, managing director of Ozcon, discusses that cleanliness and safety standards are not just a regulatory requirement in the highly competitive dairy industry. They are also a factor in maintaining product quality. However, dairy Cleaning-in-place (CIP) with ozone is economical and eco-friendly.

The cleanliness and safety standards are not just a regulatory requirement. It is also a significant factor in maintaining product quality and consumer trust. While effective, traditional cleaning methods often come with considerable economic and environmental costs. Enter ozone treatment—a proven, effective technology that promises to redefine dairy Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) systems by offering unparalleled economic and eco-friendly benefits.

Economic benefits of ozone treatment

One of the most compelling reasons to adopt ozone treatment in dairy CIP systems is its cost-effectiveness. Traditional cleaning methods typically rely on large quantities of chemical sanitisers and hot water, leading to substantial expenses. Ozone treatment, on the other hand, significantly reduces the need for these resources. By eliminating the dependence on chemical sanitisers and reducing hot water usage, dairy processors can see a marked decrease in chemical and energy costs. It translates directly into improved profit margins.

Residue-free and environmentally safe

Unlike conventional chemical disinfectants, ozone gas does not leave harmful chemical residues on food or food-contact surfaces. Ozone quickly decomposes into non-toxic by-products, minimising environmental impact and disposal costs. This residue-free cleaning ensures that final dairy products are free from potential chemical contaminants, enhancing product safety and quality.

On-demand generation

Ozone is generated on-site and on-demand, which means hazardous chemicals do not need to be transported or stored. This capability reduces logistical costs and enhances safety by eliminating the risks of handling and storing substantial amounts of chemical disinfectants.

Enhanced cleaning efficiency

Ozone has proven highly effective in removing dairy soil and biofilm-forming bacteria from stainless steel surfaces used in dairy processing. Studies have demonstrated that ozonated water can remove up to 91 per cent of milk residues from stainless steel plates, compared to just 51 per cent removal by warm water treatments. This superior cleaning efficiency ensures that dairy equipment remains free from residues that can harbour bacteria, thus maintaining high hygiene standards.

Superior microbial inactivation

Ozone’s high oxidation potential makes it a powerful antimicrobial agent capable of inactivating many microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and moulds. Its ability to penetrate and disrupt microbial cell walls ensures thorough disinfection. For instance, ozone treatment reduces microbial populations on dairy equipment and milk products, enhancing food safety.

Wastewater treatment

The dairy industry generates large volumes of wastewater characterised by high organic content. Conventional wastewater treatment methods can be costly and environmentally taxing. Ozone treatment emerges as a promising solution for reducing pollutants in dairy wastewater. It enhances the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) during subsequent filtration processes and increases the wastewater’s biodegradability. It helps meet stringent environmental regulations and reduces the overall wastewater management cost.

Improved product quality

One of the challenges with traditional thermal treatments is the potential negative impact on dairy products’ nutritional and sensory qualities. Ozone treatment offers a gentler alternative. It effectively reduces microbial loads without high temperatures, thereby preserving dairy products’ nutritional value and sensory properties. Additionally, ozone treatment can extend the shelf life of dairy products by minimising spoilage and maintaining product freshness.

Wrapping up

Ozone treatment is poised to revolutionise dairy CIP systems by providing a cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly cleaning solution. Its ability to significantly reduce chemical and energy costs and its superior cleaning and disinfecting capabilities make it an attractive option for dairy processors aiming to enhance their economic and environmental performance. By adopting ozone technology, the dairy industry can achieve higher standards of hygiene and safety, ensuring better-quality products for consumers while contributing to a more sustainable future.

As the dairy industry evolves, embracing innovative technologies like ozone treatment will be crucial in maintaining competitive advantage and meeting the growing demands for high-quality, safe, and sustainable dairy products.

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