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posted on 17.06.2022, 18:29 authored by Javier Estuardo Cruz PadillaJavier Estuardo Cruz Padilla

 Fouling is one of the main problems in the food processing industry. The formation of fouling generates complications that could significantly impact the cost of production due to a reduction in heat transfer capacity or sanitation problems. Fouling formation inside enclosed systems can also lead to the growth of biofilms, causing food safety hazards. The fouling layers are firmly attached to the food contact surface of the equipment in ultra-high temperature (UHT) systems where a food product gets sterilized. Clean in place (CIP) is the most common process for cleaning and removal of fouling as it reduces cleaning time, chemicals, and water consumption compared to a regular cleaning out of place process. While cleaning and solids removal, microbubbles (MB) have shown improvement by enhancing the interaction of the components in the cleaning process with the source of contamination. Therefore, a novel pilot-scale microbubble-based CIP (MBCIP) technology was used for cleaning of fouled surfaces and compared to the traditional CIP process in terms of efficiency and reduction in water usage. The fouling layers attached to the food contact surface of the equipment in UHT was the main area examined. The research evaluated the fouling created at 110ºC in sections of stainless-steel pipes heated in a convection oven and at 121 ºC during regular processing in a UHT with coil heat exchangers system. Reconstituted Non-fat Dry Milk Powder (NFDM) was used as the primary source of protein to evaluate the cleaning efficiency. CIP factors were combined with temperatures at 21.11 ºC, 43.33 ºC, and 76.66 ºC, together with water, alkali, and acid, respectively. The optimal conditions for MBCIP were established and applied to a pilot-scale UHT system representative of a commercial-scale UHT system. The sequence of the CIP was water, alkali, water, acid, and water. The results showed that the acid solution at 76.66 ºC with microbubbles had a significantly higher protein removal compared to the rest of the evaluated conditions, removing 72% of the initial protein content compared to alkali and water which were 10 and <2.55%, respectively during 60 minute of CIP. During the full CIP with the combination of water, alkali, and acid, the effect of alkali was significantly higher than in the rest of the steps performed individually. With the addition of MB overall, CIP removed a considerable amount of protein (>21.5%) in a UHT system compared to the traditional CIP method within the 60 minutes period. CIP chemicals were the main factor contributing to the protein removal, and the gas content was the second most crucial factor in determining the removal. The addition of MB will have a meaningful impact when interacting with cleaning chemicals for industrial CIP. MB also occupies a very small amount of space inside the pipelines representing <0.05% of the volume fraction of the fluid inside the pipes, nevertheless, it can potentially reduce water consumption and provides a sustainable cleaning method for the food industry 


Degree Type

Master of Science


Food Science

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dharmendra Mishra

Additional Committee Member 2

Jen-Yi Huang

Additional Committee Member 3

Ferhan Ozadali

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