Radical Waters proves effective in milling. Scientifically known as electrochemical activation (ECA) technology, the unique properties it creates in a water molecule result in an extremely potent, yet environmentally friendly, biocide. Trials and considerable R&D have proved ECA solutions’ biocidal efficacy against numerous bacteria (including MRSA), viruses, fungi including their spores, yeasts, as well as many waterborne protozoa.
ECA technology is particularly effective in the removal and ongoing control or biofilm which, left unchecked, is most often responsible for continuous contamination in the processing environment. Leading ECA vendor, Radical Waters, reports it has been enjoying significant success in the milling sector, an industry long plagued by QC and hygiene management challenges due to the substantial microbial, and possible mycotoxin, contamination of raw grains and the low volume of water that can be used in sanitising a dry processing environment. ‘This technology is increasingly seeing these battles being won,’ comments Dr Robin Kirkpatrick, Radical Water’s technical director.
‘Over several years, we have developed a customised application that easily integrates into existing grain milling processes. ECA water is applied in the conditioning water, ensuring the effective treatment and elimination of persistent microbial contamination of the raw grain. Our results indicate that it’s an appropriate and highly effective decontaminant, even subject to the low volume water restrict ions of the process.’ ECA solutions, unlike traditional chemicals or methods, pose no risk of product taints and material Incompatibility, he adds, with the initial treatment also having a follow-on cleaning effect during downstream processing. ‘This can be seen, for instance, in lower mycotoxin levels, while ongoing but unverified initial trial assessments indicate that ECA solutions may also reduce them further, due to a direct action on the mycotoxin molecules,’ says Kirkpatrick.
‘Technological advancements in the grain and milling industry have been largely process oriented rather than quality oriented. Our success is built on the fact that, with relatively minor intervention in the overall process, measurable and effective results have been achieved for our clients. In addition to considerable reduction in returns due to product spoilage, there have been consequential cuts in related administrative , logistic, packaging and transportation losses,’ he states. ECA technology has also been successful in the downstream processing ie: the production of raw, and modified starches. a capital-intensive process where downtime, whether scheduled or not, is extremely costly. ‘Its application in local raw starch production processes has allowed a marked reduction in downtime for our customers. Traditionally, they would require a three-month quarantine period to allow microbial growth to die off but, with ECA solutions, microbial contamination is no longer an issue. One of our customers is even producing 100% food-grade quality starch on time, as and when required,’ says Kirkpatrick
While Radical Waters is consolidating its presence in the milling industry, with ambitions to underwrite as wide a range of grain products as possible, the company itself is moving into a focused commercial phase in 2006. ‘Radical Waters has moved from a strong R&D phase to the point where we offer our customers a consistent, repeatable and quality assured result, backed by SABS and numerous international accreditations of ECA technology. Our aim is to fully integrate our hygiene management system into various market sectors,’ concludes Radical Waters’ GM, Alastair Stride.