JBT’s alliances are all about bringing complimentary solutions and technologies to its global customer base, which is why innovative sanitization specialist Aurratech looks certain to be a perfect fit over the coming years. Aurratech is the company behind Fog-in-Place™, a pioneering sterilization and sanitization system that guarantees 100% surface contact plus airborne disinfection with a fraction of the water and chemicals typically consumed by traditional technologies.
Fog-in-Place (FIP) can be used by food, beverage, produce, and protein processors to sterilize or sanitize equipment, piping, tanks and entire processing areas by turning biocide solution to fog in form of billions of micro-particles.
According to company founder Caio Agmont, FIP produces low weight particles that achieve 100% surface contact by remaining suspended in the air for long periods of time through which it can reach all areas of a facility, including around odd shapes, that need to be sanitized.
FIP also reduces more than 99% of the water, waste and sanitizing solution typically associated with traditional liquid based Sanitize-In-Place (SIP) procedures, making major savings in time, energy, solution and water, with negligible environmental impact. The system can be used effectively by both food (meat, fish, eggs, bakery, fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy) and beverage (wine, beer, juice, non alcoholic and general beverages) processors, while it also has applications in the cut flower industry.
Far from limiting FIP’s potential applications, Agmont says its possible uses are huge and constantly expanding. “FIP is already in use among the major protein players in Brazil in the beef, pork and poultry industries for ambient disinfection,” he continues. “With our new company in Spain, we have now started supplying FIP to Spanish protein companies.”
The technology is also gaining ever greater attention in South Africa. After a listeria outbreak in 2018 – the country’s largest ever – FIP was chosen as the primary decontamination tool for big protein players in South Africa. “Aurratech just finished a new project for a dedicated FIP unit to be installed in tunnels and gyro freezers,” says Agmont. “This will enhance food safety in the freezers and create a ‘listeria free’ environment.
“Listeria is a major concern at protein industry today – everyone knows how hard is to guarantee complete disinfection inside a freezer, but with FIP, we can delivery an extra layer of protection for industry against listeria.”
In Spain, Aurratech has started researching the use of FIP for lactic acid application in beef, with processors set to benefit from the system’s ability to deliver a uniform layer of the right amount of lactic acid without any wastage.
In Brazil, the company has recently finished a one year investigation with the world’s largest broiler egg company looking at the use of FIP and peracetic acid solution as an alternative to formaldehyde disinfection. The results, reveals Aurratech’s Latin America Manager Pedro Girardelli, were impressive, with better ratios than formaldehyde. “Sooner or later the formaldehyde will be banished from market, as has already happened in Europe, so it’s important the industry is prepared with an alternative technology,” he predicts. “FIP has proven to be a serious candidate for this next step at hatchery industry.”
Proving that the technology has huge scope for possible uses, Agmont says FIP has also been employed by nursery greenhouses for fertilizer and fungicide application with great results, while it has proven effective in combating botrytis in rose production facilities in South Africa.
In the bakery sector, Agmont reveals that FIP also has been used to reduce contamination in coolers and enhance product shelf life.
However, although Aurratech is still focused on disinfection, Agmont says he has seen a shift in customer demand towards using FIP as a delivery tool for applying chemicals to products. “As with lactic acid in beef, we have also been investigating using FIP to deliver other products for cheese, dry meat, fruits and eggs to reduce the microbiology count on product surfaces and increase product shelf life,” he adds. “This could open up a titanic market for Aurratech in the near future.”