THE first trial results of a new water sanitation system for the food processing industry, never before seen in Australia, will be released by Victorian company Tripax Engineering at FoodPro 2002 in Sydney in July.
The system, named Tarn-Pure, uses ionisation to sanitise water used for washing food produce such as fruit and vegetables, negating the need for harsh chemicals and their associated dangers and costs.
With a large proportion of operators in the $50 billion Australian food processing industry requiring sanitised water to wash produce, the market potential for Tarn-Pure is huge.
Australian food processors currently cleanse washing water using chlorine. According to Julie Taylor, Tripax Engineering’s marketing manager, while washing produce with chlorine-treated water is completely safe for the end consumer, in its concentrated form chlorine is corrosive and could be dangerous for those handling it.
Protective clothing, safety equipment, a special store and compulsory safety records are mandatory for the commercial use of chlorine, adding considerable costs to food processing, and creating workplace hazards.
Chlorine also causes chemical corrosion of pipework and structures.
Using ionisation to treat water eliminates these problems.
“Ionisation also offers a vital solution for producers in the growing organic food industry who would prefer not to wash their produce in chlorine. It enables them to maintain safe water sanitation levels using an organically friendly method,” Ms Taylor said.
Tarn-Pure is currently being trialled at a new carrot processing plant in Queensland, with 80 tonnes of fresh carrots being treated with around 200,000 litres of sanitised water per day.
The produce is tested for a reduction in bacterial growth and fungus following treatment, and results are expected to mimic successful overseas trials, which have shown ionisation is just as effective as chlorination.
Tripax Engineering will present the first of its findings at FoodPro 2002, which runs from July 21-24 at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre, Darling Harbour.