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Dry-ice blasting stops food pathogens cold

By Jenni Spinner+

06-Jun-2014

Continental Carbonic dry-ice blasting technology reportedly consumes less water and cleans faster than conventional equipment.
Continental Carbonic dry-ice blasting technology reportedly consumes less water and cleans faster than conventional equipment.

Continental Carbonic promises a way to clean food production equipment with less water and faster results than conventional methods.

Continental Carbonic produces equipment which uses dry ice, rather than sand, soda, or other materials, to blast contamination from services. Dayle Schinzler, marketing coordinator for Continental Carbonic, spoke with FoodProductionDaily about the technology, and how it cuts down worries over foodborne illness and pathogen contamination in processing operations.

Explain how dry-ice blasting works in a food environment.

Dry ice blasting is very similar to sand or soda blasting except it uses dry ice as the media instead of sand or soda; dry ice is accelerated towards the surface that needs cleaned using compressed air. A combination of kinetic energy and thermal effect allows the dry ice to penetrate and separate the grime from production and packaging equipment.

After the dry ice makes its initial impact, it instantaneously sublimates, turning from a solid to a gas, leaving the production equipment clean and dry. This allows the cleaning to be done while equipment is still running or hot.

There is no secondary media clean-up. It is also non-abrasive and non-conductive so it can be used on delicate surfaces, including electrical components.  

What benefits does dry-ice blasting offer over conventional cleaning?

Cleaning with dry ice blasting reduces bacteria counts, including Salmonella, E. Coli and Listeria because there is no water introduced into the production area. The non-abrasive nature of dry ice means that cleaning won’t damage sensitive parts or production equipment which results in extended useful life for equipment and reduced defects and loss of product.

Dry ice sublimates on contact so there is no secondary media clean up. and, many times, dry ice blasting is faster than manually cleaning with solvents or steam resulting in a reduction of labor costs. 

What types of food applications and processing environments is this technology best suited for?

Dry ice blasting can be used on food production equipment such as conveyors, ovens, extruders, dryers, bakery molds, and mixers as well as hot-melt adhesive, printing and packaging equipment. It can also be used for general plant maintenance including walls, ceilings and floors.

What upcoming events will you be displaying your equipment at?

We are exhibiting at IFT (booth #3456) because dry ice is one of the most versatile, temperature control products on the market and can be used in an array of industries for varying purposes. For instance, in the food industry, food grade dry ice can be used as a temperature controlling agent during processing and also as a way of keeping food fresh or frozen during shipping.

We are also showcasing our IceTech and Phoenix dry ice blasting equipment. Many people do not realize that dry ice blasting can be used on so many different applications in a food processing facility.

Anything from packagers such as multi-head weighers and snack food bagmakers to mixers, conveyors and other processing equipment can be cleaned with dry ice blasting.

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