Home Medizin Innovative Beschichtungslösung verbessert die Hygiene und reduziert Korrosion bei der Lebensmittellagerung

Innovative Beschichtungslösung verbessert die Hygiene und reduziert Korrosion bei der Lebensmittellagerung

von NFI Redaktion

In an effort to improve the food industry, Dr. Mustafa Akbulut, a professor of chemical engineering, and Dr. Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, a professor of horticultural sciences, have developed a dual-layer coating solution for galvanized steel that is more hygienic and less prone to corrosion.

Containers and surfaces made of galvanized steel are used for harvesting due to their durability, strength, and lower cost compared to stainless steel. However, bacteria present in storage containers can cause corrosion.

The new coating will reduce corrosion by at least 70%, according to Akbulut.

This material is more durable and is not subject to corrosion. The surface itself can repel bacteria, preventing germs from settling on it. Normal steel tends to accumulate pathogens and microorganisms, but the coated steel overcomes this issue. These are the main advantages of this technology.“

Dr. Mustafa Akbulut, Professor of Chemical Engineering

The coating method for galvanized steel exhibits superhydrophobic and antifouling properties, effectively preventing the attachment of fungi, bacteria, and sludge. This research was published in the Journal of Food Engineering.

„This will have an impact as people who consume fruits and vegetables trust that they are buying something safe, which will not jeopardize their health,“ said Cisneros-Zevallos. „Currently, the industry is making efforts to reduce these risks, but outbreaks of contamination and illnesses are still reported. Sometimes, deaths due to these events are documented.“

During the coating process, the material properties, structural properties, and mechanical strength of the steel do not change. Only the top layer of the steel is coated as this is where food comes into contact with the surface, explained Akbulut.

Studies show that this coating reduces bacterial strains over a period of seven days and decreases the attachment of Aspergillus, a foodborne fungus.

According to the article, this coating technology has the potential to be used for grain storage silos as well as other food storage units and containers. This is a significant advancement for the multidisciplinary fields of food technology, safety, and processing.

Akbulut also mentioned that the coating made of galvanized steel will benefit agricultural areas.

„Many food products come in contact with soil, debris, or mud in an industrial environment,“ said Akbulut. „Even if the products are washed, these goods can cause contamination. With this technology, we are reducing contamination caused by mud.“

Cisneros-Zevallos stated that they could eventually adapt and utilize these technologies to reduce outbreaks and positively impact the food industry based on the research findings.

„Our goal is to get the industry to adopt this,“ Cisneros-Zevallos said. „Processors will benefit from handling something they can deliver to consumers with confidence, and consumers will benefit from having something that is safe for them.“

From field to consumer, contamination can be minimized by using such surfaces and avoiding cross-contamination, as explained by Cisneros-Zevallos.

„With this research, we are ensuring that technological advancements from other areas are being pursued and implemented in agriculture,“ Cisneros-Zevallos said. „The agricultural sector is catching up compared to other technologies. This coating directly affects our daily lives and the food we want to make safer.“

Contributors to the research include Ph.D. students Wentao Zhou, Shuhao Liu, and William DeFlorio from the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, as well as Professor Jun Kyun Oh and Ph.D. students Sang Ha Song and Hayoung Choi from the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at Dankook University.

This work was supported by a grant from the Food Manufacturing Technologies Program and a Specialty Crop Research Initiative from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

This work is also partially supported by a scholarship from the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Korean government. The Department of Polymer Science and Engineering was supported by the „Research-Focused Department Promotion & Interdisciplinary Convergence Research Project“ under the University Innovation Support Program for Dankook University in 2022.


Journal Reference:

Zhou, W., et al. (2024). Nanostructured Antifouling Coatings for Food Storage and Container Surfaces Made of Galvanized Steel to Improve Hygiene and Corrosion Resistance Against Bacteria, Fungi, and Sludge Contamination. Journal of Food Engineering. doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2023.111784.

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