Influencing the adhesive behavior of stainless steel by chemical and physical treatment for preventive or curative treatment of fouling and biofilms

Project Details


Main research question/goal
Even though stainless steel is widely used in the food industry, it is still subject to fouling, which can lead to the formation of biofilms. Both fouling and biofilms can influence the yield, safety and quality of food products. In the CLEANSURFACE project, researchers investigate the influence of innovative materials, coatings and physical treatments on stainless steel and whether their use can limit fouling and biofilms. An additional goal is to study the fouling and biofilm mechanisms and to develop optimized cleaning and disinfecting processes.

Research approach
First the fouling and biofilms in a selection of food manufacturing companies are characterized. This characterization is based on classical microbiological, molecular and chemical analyses. Models are then constructed in the lab, where the adhesive behaviors of different surface treatments are tested. ILVO performs case studies in the Food Pilot and at participating companies to examine the relevance and effect of those lab results in practice.

The overall aim of the study is to develop innovative treatments of stainless steel and to apply them within the food industry together with adjusted cleaning procedures. The ultimate result would be less loss of product, lower production costs, longer shelf life of food products, fewer food related bacterial outbreaks and a lower environmental impact.
Effective start/end date1/06/1731/05/19