Why pathogens and biofilms are very hard to remove

Guy Ackermans and Twan Koenen

With Undine® micro droplets it can be done very effectively, with less water
In this animation we show the difference between conventional cleaning and Undine microdroplets on soft (skin) surfaces and hard machine surfaces.

Conventional cleaning methods produce very large droplets at low velocity:
– These droplets cannot access (bacterial) contaminations inside micro cavities;
– Large droplets and volume create a water film on the surface that absorbs the energy from the droplets. So, shielding the biofilm against droplet impact.

Undine® micro droplets at high velocity with a size very close to pathogen dimensions:
– Microdroplets can access deep inside micro cavities and reach contaminations;
– No thick water film that allows all energy from the droplets to be used for biofilm / contamination removal.

Zero tolerance on visual polution

It seems obvious. A clean product is equivalent to a product without visual contamination. While this is true to an extent, the process goes much further than that. Pathogens hide in contamination such as manure, food particles, or other intestinal contents. Therefore, logically, removing visual contamination simultaneously removes a significant portion of the pathogens.

An overlooked aspect is that contamination also covers underlying pathogens. This can occur through the formation of recent contamination or the buildup of a biofilm. Pathogens located under contamination are generally not susceptible to chemicals because the active substances simply do not reach the pathogens, regardless of the amount of chemicals applied. This also applies for heat treatment. The most vulnerable areas for this phenomenon are feather follicles and minute openings in a surface, such as scratches or other damage from wear and tear. This is also for the most part the reason why, in many countries, the Veterinary Service strictly emphasizes visual cleanliness, as it is the only aspect they can readily observe.

More water and pressure does not equal better cleaning

So much for the problem. The solution is not so simple. The standard reaction in the industry to this problem is more… more water, more water pressure, and/or more chemicals. However, practice shows that this hardly works. The diagram illustrates why. The water droplets are too large to achieve effective cleaning. In fact, excessive water creates a water film over the surface to be cleaned, which subsequent water droplets must penetrate to reach the surface. Increasing water and water pressure often works counterproductively.

What does work are the high velocity micro-droplets from Undine®. The micro-droplets first remove the contamination and/or biofilm and then attack the underlying pathogens. This is precisely why we see a positive effect, for example, on chickens cleaned with Undine®. The chickens are visually clean and show significantly lower values when tested for various pathogens.

Back to overview

Not just high pressure

Clean the most delicate products

Skip to toolbar