Today, globally, there’s a need for enhanced health and safety protocols across every industry. Because of its unique position on the food chain, the Food and Beverage industry is especially susceptible to contaminants and microbial pollutants. Having the ability to produce electrolyzed water sanitizer – using just salt, water, and electricity – is one way that industry players can cost-effectively address the need for enhanced sanitization in their establishments.
The Genesis of Electrolyzed Water
Electrolyzed water, also called hypochlorous acid (HOCL), may be produced on-site, through a process called electrolysis, by combining non-iodinated salt, water, and electricity. The final product is similar to the bactericidal chemicals that our white blood cells produce to fight infection causing foreign pathogens. The good news is that we can now produce unlimited quantity of HOCL using commercially-available hypochlorous acid makers.
So, how effective is in-house manufactured HOCL? Standard EPA tests have demonstrated that a spray of 200 ppm HOCL solution neutralized viruses after just 5-minutes of contact.
Reaping the Benefits of In-House Capabilities
When businesses in the food production, preparation, and processing industry build a capability to make electrolyzed water in house, it provides several layers of benefits:
1. Cost-effectiveness: When it comes to cleanliness and hyenine, owners and operators of food preparation or production businesses have always been held to a much higher standard. However, with currently mandated enhanced cleansing protocols, those costs can quickly skyrocket when businesses purchase and stock commercial sanitization and disinfectant products – wipes, gels, foams, and sprays. Building in-house capacity to produce cost-effective sanitizers – in unlimited quantity – can help defray the costs of implementing a robust enhanced cleaning protocol.
2. Convenience: Many operators, in the food processing and packaging industry, operate 24×7 business cycles. This means requiring a continuous and assured supply of disinfectant and sanitizers. Unfortunately, with increased demand for these products, one can’t rule out stock outs and supply shortages. It’s inconvenient – and costly – to make emergency purchases of these products. The ability to produce electrolyzed water sanitizer on-demand, in-house, adds convenience and flexibility to an enhanced disinfection and sanitization program.
3. Profitability: A shortage of sanitizers and disinfectants, especially at sensitive workstations, or during critical processes, may increase microbial burdens that lead to product or ingredient contamination. This has a knock-on impact: It degrades product quality. It can drastically reduce shelf life. And it can tarnish your brand, and impact your organizations’ profitability. Being able to generate industrial quality sanitizer, when and where needed, and in requisite quantities, can help prevent this worst-case scenario.
Finally, there’s the health and safety consideration. Most commercial-grade sanitizers and disinfectants use harsh chemicals to produce their products. When employees complete a round of disinfection with those chemical-based products, it’s often necessary to rinse the produce or equipment down with water. There’s also the need for enhanced safety protocols to prevent employees, using or handling those chemical-based sanitizers, from burns, skin irritation, or harmful fumes.
And that’s where hypochlorous acid solution-based sanitization helps. Businesses who have in-house capacity to make electrolyzed water, don’t worry about wipe-downs or rinsing.