RP Food industry gets ally in ensuring food safety
We have been witnesses to the increasing incidences of food-related problems in recent years. Because of this, the food industry is taking all precautions to ensure everyone's safety and to lessen the number of such cases. Industries do this by improving their sanitary processes.
As a preventive measure, meticulous inspection of equipment is observed to ensure that no contamination reaches end products. "The importance of thoroughly inspecting machineries and workplaces cannot be stressed enough. Food manufacturers must ensure that harmful microorganisms and product residues are removed prior to production," asserts Jun Barnes, Professional Service Analyst, 3M Food Safety Department.
However, food businesses note that the more thorough the inspection conducted, the more time is consumed. With this in mind, global brand 3M has come up with the Clean-Trace ATP System. Giving real-time results, it can assess cleanliness of process lines in as fast as 30 seconds. As with conventional plate counting techniques, Clean-Trace ATP System measures the levels of microorganisms on a surface. Furthermore, the technology also detects the equally important product residues which have been left on a production line after inadequate cleaning and/or sanitation.
"This [the Clean-Trace ATP System] can be used as the first-step in ensuring food safety and quality in the country," says Barnes. "Food producers or establishments will have more confidence that the processes their foods have undergone were hygienic."
The 3M Clean-Trace ATP System measures ATP or Adenosine Triphospate which can be found in animal, plant, and microbial cells. When ATP is combined with the firefly reagent luciferin-luciferase, a reaction will take place wherein light, invisible to the eye, will be produced. The amount of light is measured by a luminometer and is expressed as relative light unit (RLU). The RLU reading is directly related to the amount of contamination.
"But it is important to note that not all ATP systems are the same," stresses Barnes. "These systems can vary considerably in their limits of detection, repeatability and reproducibility. Because of this, it is important to choose one that is superior in these properties." According to an independent research made by Cara Technology Limited of UK, 3M Clean-Trace ATP System, gives the "highest degree of repeatability relative to other ATP systems." This ensures that 3M's ATP technology is the best in the market in determining precise results about sanitation.
"We hope that our product will help, not just the food industry, but the Philippines as a whole, in the thrust for health and cleanliness," ends Barnes.