The aim of this study was to assess whether the STEAMATIK automated system was efficient in removing food allergens from a conveyor belt.
The conveyor belt (PVC, smooth surface) was cleaned with the STEAMATIK system which was connected to the STEAMBIO 19000.
Contamination of the conveyor belt by artificial soils
A ready-to-use cookie premix (“Préparation pour Cookies” from ALSA) was mixed with 30 cL of milk and one egg. The mixture was spread onto 4 areas of the belt and left to dry (1h, 20°C). The belt was first scraped to remove the excess of cookie, and then, it was cleaned with steam during 5 min at 10 ft/min (3 m/min).
|Spread of the cookie premix|
|Scrap of the excess of cookie premix|
|Cleaning of the conveyor belt|
Detection of food allergens.
Kits (Reveal 3D, NEOGEN) were used to detect a specific allergen in environmental samples. Food allergens tested : egg, gluten and milk protein which were detected in surfaces samples (swab of a surface of 10 x 10 cm) with levels below 20 μg/100cm2 for egg and milk protein and 80 μg/100 cm2 for gluten.
|-||absence of allergen|
|+||presence of allergen|
|++||high presence of allergen|
Results of different swabs of surfaces before and after a 5-min cleaning with STEAMATIK + STEAMBIO 19000.
|positive result||positif result : overloaded|
|negative result||negative result|
Results obtained for area 1 for gluten and egg detection.
A line is visible at position T (test), position O (overload) and C (control) : allergen detected ;
No line is visible at position T (but a line at C and O) : allergen not detected ;
No line is visible at position O (overload) and a line is barely visible or absent at position T : sample is overloaded with allergens.
Before the cleaning of the conveyor belt, allergen kits revealed a high presence of egg residues on the belt and the presence of gluten and milk protein. After 5 min of steam cleaning with the STEAMATIK system connected to the STEAMBIO 19000, the 4 tested areas showed a non-detection of gluten, milk protein and egg residues, eventhough eggs reached a high level before cleaning.
These results do confirm the efficiency of steam cleaning on all food allergens tested.
The overall results show that, in our experimental conditions, saturated steam cleaning with the STEAMATIK system connected to the STEAMBIO 19000 gives an excellent effectiveness in removing food allergens, which are commonly responsable of allergenic reactions. This system cuts effectively and completely all traces of milk proteins, gluten and eggs residues initially presents on the conveyor belt surface. Other allergens are currently being studied and show very promising results (eg : peanuts).
If you want more details or if you have a specific food allergen problematic, contact scientific centre.