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Transforming sanitation strategies in dry food manufacturing environments

Investigators
Snyder, Abby
Institutions
Washington State University Extension
Start date
2019
End date
2023
Objective
The overarching goal of this project is to develop optimized technological solutions through systematic characterization of dry soil adhesion, microbial attachment, along with process analysis and design to gain a better understanding of the physical aspects of cleaning and sanitation. This will be accomplished by addressing cleaning and sanitization - the two aspects necessary for sanitation control of environmental cross-contamination. In total, >100 experiments will be conducted across environmental conditions, microbial and chemical targets, and equipment parameters in laboratory and pilot plant trials on air impingement, aerosolized H2O2, and supercritical steam. Based on the identified needs of food manufacturers and preliminary evidence collected by the investigative team, we propose the following objectives:Objective 1: Characterize soil adherence on environmental surface materials under a controlled dry environmentGoal: The goal of this objective is to systematically characterize the impact of treatment conditions on soil adherence and microbial attachment.Objective 2: Evaluate equipment parameters influencing allergen residue elimination and microbial inactivation through air impingement cleaning, supercritical steam sanitation, hydrogen peroxide, and their combinationsGoal: The goal of this objective is to optimize bench-scale treatment conditions against food soils characterized in Obj. 1 for development is subsequent objectives.Objective 3: Select a microbial surrogate and allergenic target representing a "worst case scenario" for subsequent challenge studies by determining the variability among relevant microbial pathogens, spoilage organisms, and allergen residues against optimized equipment parameters in controlled laboratory environmentsGoal:The goal of this objective is to assess the variability in target sensitivity to the developed technology to select the worst-case-scenario microbe and food soil to be used in pilot scale work.Objective 4: Develop and validate pilot scale equipment for innovative air impingement, supercritical steam, and hydrogen peroxide technologies for testing under industrial conditions using a surrogate identified in Obj. 3Goal: The goal of this objective is test the developed technologies under more complex, true-to-use conditions so that both quanititative outcomes and fabrication design choices can be evaluated.Objective 5: Develop a technology transfer plan for industrial scale-up and application addressing acceptance criteria and cost projectionsGoal:The goal of this objective is to enhance utilization of the research findings by the manufacturers through creation of industrially relevant projections. At the conclusion of this objective, the defined deliverable will be a report collaboratively developed by the investigative team and third-party equipment fabrication groups.Objective 6: Create and implement a mixed medium (in-person and online) extension and outreach program to train food industry stakeholders and students in implementation of air impingement, hydrogen peroxide, and supercritical steam technologies as well as basic concepts in dry cleaning and sanitationGoal:The goal of the extension and outreach program is to translate the research findings from Obj. 1-5 into actionable guidance for stakeholders in food manufacturing. This goal is two-fold: i) the proposed training will seek to increase the baseline knowledge of attendees regarding the food safety and quality hazards specific to dry manufacturing technologies, their risk factors, and relevant aspects of mitigation strategies and ii) the proposed training will support broad application of the air impingement, hydrogen peroxide, and supercritical steam technologies among dry food manufacturers through hands-on training and generation of scale-up materials.Objective 7: Train senior undergraduate students in principles defined through the above research objectives via educational units integrated into food engineering courses. Train graduate students in the methods for manufacturing technology development via research mentorship and supervisionGoal:The goal of this objective is to immediately integrate the research outcomes from the previous objectives into standardized curriculum and training for the next generation of food scientists and engineers.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
OHON2018MANUFAC
Accession number
1018611
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens