Unexpected effects of cooking oil on industrial food production equipment

Food made in the industrial style will be a thousand times cleaner, thanks to this extremely efficient technology alone.

Food processed on giant industrial lines is the product of dozens of raw materials, shoved into giant stainless steel machines. Normally, these types of machines are already difficult to clean and when there are scratches on the surface of the food handler, the bacteria will have a great place to live.

To us, these surface scratches are very small, not worth worrying about, but with bacteria that we can’t see with the naked eye, the scratches are giant valleys “given by nature” to make a house. live. Food stuck in these slots will again serve as food for bacteria, increasing the risk of infection of the entire chain.

Unexpected effects of cooking oil on industrial food production equipment
With just a layer of cooking oil, the scientists reduced the level of bacteria clinging to the surface by up to 1,000 times.

Professor Ben Hatton, Dr Dalal Asker and Dr Tarek Awad have found a cheaper, safer and more effective way to prevent bacteria from living inside these expensive food machines. Reducing infection on the machine will ensure safer food. They propose a very simple way that is very easy to implement, considering the service industry of the above machinery system: that is, coating a thin layer of cooking oil on the metal surface , filling scratches, slots. Cracks appear during machine operation.

In their tests, the scientists reduced the level of surface bacteria by up to 1,000 times with just a thin layer of cooking oil. The research results have been published in the scientific journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Unexpected effects of cooking oil on industrial food production equipment
Cooking oil can often prevent bacteria from sticking extremely effectively.

“Coating stainless steel surfaces with cooking oil can often be extremely effective at preventing bacteria from attaching,” says Professor Hatton. “The oil fills the female slots, creates a water-resistant layer and acts as a barrier to prevent impurities from sticking to the surface of the device.” Currently, the professor is working with AGRI-NEO, a grain processing company that is looking to find a solution to the root of this problem.

Simple, effective and low-cost technology based on the principle of Slick Solution Synthetic Foam Surface (SLIPS) , developed at Harvard University, with the aim of sticking a lubricating surface onto a microstructure to Creates a smooth, waterproof and non-stick surface. Cooking oils like olive oil, corn oil or canola oil will give us a much safer way to prevent plaque, when there is no longer the need for harmful chemicals often used.

And not even chemicals can completely remove all bacteria: the difficulty of cleaning is the first problem, the second is that bacteria can build up resistance to bleach over time.

Unexpected effects of cooking oil on industrial food production equipment
From left to right: Dr Tarek Awad, Dr Dalal Asker and Professor Ben Hatton.

“Contaminated food from equipment can affect consumers’ health, causing economic losses when recalling damaged products, but food can still be contaminated, even if the equipment is cleaned and repaired. will be with chemicals,” said Professor Hatton. “This study shows that using a simple surface treatment like cooking oil, we can create a barrier that reduces the level of bacteria on surfaces by up to 1,000 times.”

Hatton’s team continues to experiment with other compounds, different cooking oils and foods, to create even more effective barriers. Discovering the wonderful use of an everyday item, we feel that everything around has the ability to change people’s lives in a good way.