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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2000 Jan;30(1):47-52.

The development of an ultrasonic apparatus for the noninvasive and repeatable removal of fouling in food processing equipment.

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Raliment, Bourg En Bresse, France.


A new ultrasonic apparatus operating at a frequency of 40 kHz was developed to dislodge biofilms from food processing equipment in order to assess the effectiveness of cleaning protocols. Sonication conditions to remove biofilms and quantification by ATP-bioluminescence are described. An industrial meat process was developed at the laboratory level to form a biofilm with industrial characteristics. Our results show that the biofilm removal by sonication during 10 s is reproducible and four times greater compared to the swabbing method (83% removal of fouling material against 20%). Unlike the swabbing method, this ultrasonic apparatus permitted the immediately demonstration of the inefficiency (within 1 min) of an industrial meat cleaning protocol. This apparatus is portable, easy to use and can be operated by unskilled users.

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