University of Limerick
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Towards sustainable cleaning-in-place (CIP) in dairy processing: exploring enzyme-based approaches to cleaning in the cheese industry

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-03, 08:21 authored by Karan J. Pant, Paul D. Cotter, Martin WilkinsonMartin Wilkinson, Jeremiah J. Sheehan

Cleaning-in-place (CIP) is the most commonly used cleaning and sanitation system for processing lines, equipment, and storage facilities such as milk silos in the global dairy processing industry. CIP employs thermal treatments and non-biodegradable chemicals (acids and alkalis), requiring appropriate neutralization before disposal, resulting in sustainability challenges. In addition, biofilms are a major source of contamination and spoilage in dairy industries, and it is believed that current chemical CIP protocols do not entirely destroy biofilms. Use of enzymes as effective agents for CIP and as a more sustainable alternative to chemicals and thermal treatments is gaining interest. Enzymes offer several advantages when used for CIP, such as reduced water usage (less rinsing), lower operating temperatures resulting in energy savings, shorter cleaning times, and lower costs for wastewater treatment. Additionally, they are typically derived from natural sources, are easy to neutralize, and do not produce hazardous waste products. However, even with such advantages, enzymes for CIP within the dairy processing industry remain focused mainly on membrane cleaning. Greater adoption of enzyme-based CIP for cheese industries is projected pending a greater knowledge relating to cost, control of the process (inactivation kinetics), reusability of enzyme solutions, and the potential for residual activity, including possible effects on the subsequent product batches. Such studies are essential for the cheese industry to move toward more energy-efficient and sustainable cleaning solutions.



Comprehensive Review in food science and food safety


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Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine

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  • (12) Responsible Consumption and Production

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  • Biological Sciences

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