Chlorine dioxide gas, also known as CIO2, is a powerful and versatile chemical solution gaining traction among food processors looking for more effective sanitation agents. Despite an association with bleach (chlorine), chlorine dioxide is very different.
Chlorine dioxide appears to be full of contradictions. Good contradictions! While chlorine dioxide treatment is strong enough to disinfect hospitals, it’s also approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use on food contact surfaces and in consumables such as drinking water. Chlorine Dioxide is an effective agent that eliminates harmful pathogens, yet it has a lower environmental impact than chemical solutions of comparable strength.
Because of its versatility, chlorine dioxide is exceptionally well-suited for sanitation applications, especially in the food processing industry. Here are five reasons why chlorine dioxide is the most efficacious chemical solution for sanitation in your facility:
Chlorine dioxide can either be dissolved into water and applied indirectly, or it can be dispersed into the air as a gas. The gas can kill bacteria exploiting weaknesses in its cell membrane or destroy viruses by damaging their genetic material.
Chlorine dioxide is more versatile than chlorine since it can be applied as a gas or as a liquid. Gas sanitation is preferred due to its convenience and ability to cover produce surfaces such as wounds and stem scars.
Biofilms, which occur when microorganisms layer, present a unique challenge for food processors. When biofilms form, microorganisms become stronger against chemical sanitizers.
Chlorine dioxide is one of the most effective solutions for disrupting biofilms. It can also prevent biofilms from forming, under certain circumstances. The ability to combat biofilms is exceptionally valuable for narrow spaces such as cooling towers, where films and algae can easily form.
Chlorine dioxide is currently under review by the EPA as a surface sanitizer for E. Coli and can be more potent than bleach against pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria. Additionally, unlike other chemical solutions, most cells do not have the ability to develop chlorine dioxide resistance.
Chlorine dioxide is both exceptionally powerful and safe in small amounts. Because it can disinfect surfaces when diluted to concentrations as low as 5 ppm, it can be very inexpensive.
Despite its potency, chlorine dioxide passed strict EPA DIS /TISS guidelines. While carcinogenic trihalomethanes are a byproduct of traditional solutions like bleach and bromine, chlorine dioxide dissociates into table salt and oxygen.
Therefore, chlorine dioxide is far less corrosive and damaging if it disperses into the soil or water runoff.
Wide pH Spectrum
Because of its broad pH spectrum, chlorine dioxide can be more forgiving and used for a wider variety of applications. It can remain effective against biocides over a broad spectrum pH level and is less reactive with amines or ammonia.
Chemical dioxide treatments are efficient, safe for the protection of food and contact surfaces, and ultimately provide value to food processors experiencing expensive recalls. PureLine specializes in designing and implementing chlorine dioxide solutions. Fill out the contact form below, and a PureLine chlorine dioxide expert would be glad to see if the benefits of chlorine dioxide make business sense for your facility.