As a user of Microban antimicrobial technology, Continental ContiTech is in a unique position to offer a high standard of safety and hygiene to beverage processing. Food & Beverage Industry News reports.
Microban antimicrobial technology is becoming more popular within the food and beverage industry because of its ability to protect products during the manufacturing and washdown process. It extends the life cycle of the hoses and limits the risk of failure and contamination in the manufacturing process.
Among its offerings, Continental ContiTech specialises in the development of industrial hoses for food and beverage transfer and washdown processes.
The company also helps develop solutions to create the best results for its customers. As part of this ethos ContiTech uses Microban technology in its industrial hoses.
Microban technology is designed to protect products from the growth of bacteria, mould, and mildew, all of which can cause a range of issues in the production process if not carefully managed.
As industry standards continue to evolve towards more sustainability and stronger food safety processes, ContiTech’s Microban industrial hoses offer a solid solution to strengthen a link in the manufacturing chain.
The company’s hoses for the foodstuffs industry are subject to stringent hygiene regulations and numerous standards to ensure quality and adherence to industry standards. As a result, they are suitable for wine, beer, strong alcoholic beverages, and fruit juice.
They feature a smooth, plasticiser-free lining that doesn’t leave any odour or taste. Suitable for all common connecting systems, ContiTech’s hoses are resistant to cleaning in place (CIP) and all harsh cleaning processes in the beverage industry.
“When you look at the application, you must convey the fluid throughout the process, whether from the original vat into the still or from the still out to wherever, through all of those different elements,” said Scott Weston, national business manager, Continental.
“Obviously if a product fails through that cycle, you can’t move the fluid, which means you aren’t brewing. Straight away you are suffering not just from a replacement cost, which is minimal in the overall production process, but you’re stopping the process and you’re probably scrapping all of that product.”
According to ContiTech’s figures, the use of built-in antimicrobial protection in the food and beverage industry, can reduce the growth of bacteria by as much as 99 per cent.
The biggest advantage to built-in antimicrobial product protection is that the technology works continuously to limit bacterial growth on the hose.
The company also builds its rubber transfer hoses on chrome mandrels to prevent tube imperfections that create conditions perfect for bacterial growth. Other features of the rubber transfer hoses include braiding with extruded liners and spiral reinforcements.
Focuses for the company during the continued development of ContiTech’s industrial hoses for the food and beverage industry are safety, hygiene, and reliability.
The two offerings best suited to the food and beverage industry are the ExtremeFlex Beverage with Microban and Vintner with Microban.
ExtremeFlex is suited to applications that require flexibility for the hoses, including to fit tight bend connections in restricted spaces. The lightweight and flexible hose has a chlorobutyl tube, which doesn’t cause any taste or smell contamination, making it suitable for beer, wine, distillery, and beverage transfer processing facilities.
Adding to the products tensile strength and flexibility is a spiral-plied fabric with double galvanised helix wires reinforcing it.
“The key feature for ExtremeFlex beverage is that is has an easy clean cover,” said Weston.
“When we talk about the industry itself and food regulations, having an easy clean cover when auditors come in and inspect the facilities you can wash this hose down and it looks like brand new so from an aesthetic point of view, it is a good selling point. This type of hose is best suited to breweries.”
Meanwhile, the Vintner is a crush-resistant hose that is an alternative to more traditional softwell, or steel wire reinforced hoses.
Because of its design, the Vintner can reform its shape after being crushed, which makes it a suitable for in-plant or tank truck transfer of beverages like wine, beer, and other non-oily food stuffs.
ContiTech also has another seven low-pressure hoses and four high-pressure hoses that are suited to the food and beverage industry and each one boasts Microban technology and pressure points of 300 PSI to as much as 4,000 PSI.
The high-pressure and low-pressure hoses are divided into two separate categories, Nitrile and EPDM, each with varying uses.
The best time to use Nitrile hoses is if there will be water with a light cleaning chemical or oil solvent within it, or when the application of the hose involves oils, animal fats or grease touching the cover.
A high abrasion resistance is also required when using Nitrile hoses.
Manufacturers should use EPDM hoses when water with light cleaning agents and chemical additives are present, and the application doesn’t involve oil touching the cover. A broad temperature rating is also required for the best use of EPDM hoses, but abrasion resistance isn’t.
“Essentially, the products we produce are very high-quality products from the material compounding, development, and testing. The quality and life cycles of our products are appealing for clients,” said Weston.
“Other hose models could have bacteria build up inside over time, because of the compounds used, this was something we at Conti wanted to avoid.”