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New natural coating can control bacteria spread, claims firm

By Jane Byrne , 24-Nov-2008
Last updated on 24-Nov-2008 at 16:27 GMT

A new coating technology for food processing plant interiors utilizes titanium dioxide to inhibit odours and reduces the risk of bacterial contamination, claims the Canadian developer.

Recent listeria and E.coli bacteria outbreaks in food industry have increased the requirement to test a plant’s surfaces such as countertops and meat slicers as well as non-contact surfaces such as walls, ceilings and drains.

Green Earth Nano Science (GENS Nano) said its self-sanitising coating technology, which utilizes the natural mineral titanium dioxide TiO2, protects walls, ceilings and other surfaces for many months and in some areas for years.

The company stressed that TiO2 was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a food additive over 42 years ago.

Self-santizing

Toronto-based GENS Nano said that in the presence of light and water in the air, titanium dioxide oxidizes organic molecules and converts complex organic molecules into water and carbon dioxide.

The company said that once coated with the TiO2, surfaces remain self-sanitizing provided that enough light is present to activate the photo catalytic effect of titanium dioxide:

“Photo catalytic power of titanium dioxide successfully destroys a bacteria cell's wall and its membrane, and reacts with the cell's components, which inhibits bacteria's activity, thus eliminating bad odours created by a living or decomposing bacteria and also reducing the risk of bacteria spread.”

Environmentally friendly

GENS Nano claims that existing methods of cleaning and disinfecting plant walls and ceilings are time consuming, and result in high consumption of energy and chemical detergents, and consequently high costs.

The company said that its technology brings additional benefits such as less water and chemicals needed to disinfect walls and ceilings, less impact on the environment, improved indoor air quality and reduced building maintenance costs.

It said the installation of its natural mineral coating will help food processing companies to reduce to a minimum any potential risk of bio-contamination through non-contact surfaces.

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