Methodology based on eco-hygienic design of food processing equipments, that significately reduces food processing environmental impact.
A Spanish technology centre has developed a methodology to reduce the environmental impact by using the hygienic design of processing equipment. The centre has managed to reduce water consumption by approximately 38%, as well as energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The centre looks for food companies and machinery manufacturers to establish technical cooperation agreements.
Food companies interested in reducing the environmental impact from industrial production and save costs from a decreasement of water, energy and chemical cleaning products are sought to stablish technical cooperation agreements. Companies would improve their production line by incorporating eco-hygienically design equipments. Moreover, machinery manufacturers are sought to improve their offer by incorporating or improving current equipments with eco-hygienic criteria through technical cooperation agreements.
The Spanish technology centre has more than 30 years of experience in designing technological solutions for companies in food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, chemical and packaging sectors. It has large experience in the creation integral solutions to the entire value chain. The centre has a wide experience in hygienically designing equipments and facilities and in supporting food companies to reduce their environmental impact. Disinfection and cleaning processes of facilities and equipment are essential for the food industry to comply with the standards of hygiene and food safety. These processes have a high environmental impact: high water, energy and chemical products consumption; generation of wastewater and greenhouse gas emissions. A Spanish technological centre has demonstrated how the application of eco-hygienic design criteria in industrial equipment can be applied as a preventive and cost-effective measure that decreases the consumption of water, energy and cleaning chemicals, besides the reduction of CO2 emissions and wastewater during cleaning processes. The developed methodology begins with a diagnosis of those elements in equipment and industrial facilities, that can be modified by eco-hygienic design criteria. The diagnosis is made from the environmental and hygienic point of view. Implementation is the second step. A market research is conducted to identify equipment with certified hygienic design. These equipments are designed taking into account hygienic criteria such as: configuration, geometry, surface finish and materials, which allow to achieve a better cleanliness applying more sustainable protocols. In the absence of this kind of equipments, the hygienic design for the equipment used in critical processes is valued. Once selected, different cleaning operations are carried out in a pilot plant. Monitoring is the third step. Obtained data from the hygienically designed equipment are compared with the conventional ones. The environmental impact is evaluated: water, electricity and chemical products consumption besides CO2 and greenhouse gases emissions. The technical-economic viability to acquire the equipment that will entail savings and a lower environmental impact for the company is assessed. Optimising production processes with equipments hygienically designed is a key element to reduce cleaning and disinfection costs of agri-food facilities, at the time that environmental cost of their processes decreases. Always guaranteeing the safety of food, cosmetic or pharmaceutical products. The centre has demonstrated that the introduction of changes in equipment and processing lines based on the eco-hygienic design, can significantly reduce the environmental impact of food industry while contributing to improve productivity. These investment result in an ecological footprint reduction. Using the developed methodology, a reduction in water consumption of around 38% (depending on whether the systems are open or closed) can be achieved. In addition, the consumption of electricity and CO2 generation. The application of this methodology allows machinery manufacturers to incorporate eco-hygienic design criteria, adding a competitive advantage to their equipment and improve their business opportunities. On the other hand, food companies that incorporate eco-hygienically designed technology will be able to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and reduce the costs associated with energy and water consumption, wastewater treatment and those related to the purchase of chemical cleaning products and the payment of emissions taxes. The centre looks for establishing technical cooperation agreements with food companies interested in reducing the environmental impact by technologies designed according to hygienic criteria. In addition, it offers technical cooperation agreements with machinery manufacturers that would like to improve their competitiveness by offering hygienically designed equipments
Advantages and innovations
The centre has proven that using this methodology can achieve a reduction in water consumption of around 38% (depending on whether the systems are open or closed). With this reduction in water, a reduction in energy consumption, waste generation and CO2 emissions of between 21% and 33% could be achieved. The centre has proven that the introduction of changes in equipment and processing lines based on the eco-hygienic design, reduces the ecological footprint of food production.
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