Antimicrobials In The Food Industry

Last month we attended The UK Food Shows in Birmingham. It’s always a great show and we enjoy meeting up with exhibitors to have a chat about the industry in general, and in particular, the packaging side of the industry. This year’s show was no exception, with a larger space allocated for FoodEx than ever before. FoodEx is the section of the show which focuses on manufacturing, supply chain and packaging, so that’s where we allocated most of our time.

Of course, we arrived at the show with our business hats on, keen to chat about the exciting chemical additives that could improve manufacturing processes or add protection to packaging. But we were surprised that chemical additives and ‘smarter’ products were on the forefront of so many people’s minds within the industry.

We particularly spoke about the benefits of adding an antimicrobial into products such as flooring, containers, manufacturing equipment and packaging. While most people we spoke to could immediately see the benefit of using an antimicrobial, not everyone knew how easy it was to do.

 

How Can You Add An Antimicrobial To Your Product?

We haven’t yet found a product that we can’t add antimicrobials to, whether it be in the product’s master batch or in a surface coating. Our antimicrobial solution can be provided as powder, paste, liquid or master batch, meaning it’s extremely versatile.

Most of the products we add antimicrobials to are plastic based, and while the current trend is to reduce plastics, they do have a place if they are used correctly and used long term. Antimicrobials help you do just that, they increase the longevity of your products and help you sell a plastic product that will have a longer shelf-life.

 

Do Antimicrobials Increase Food Shelf Life?

Here’s the tricky part, they do and they don’t. If we’re talking about a lab-based situation, food sat on an antimicrobial plate will degrade at the same rate as food sat on a test plate will. What the antimicrobials in packaging do is to protect the food from the microbes present on the packaging.

Picture a lovely punnet of strawberries, have you noticed how the mould usually starts growing on the sides of the fruit that are in contact with the packaging? So in this scenario, the mould was present on the packaging and was able to grow on the fruit closest to the package surface. Now if we use antimicrobials in the packaging, the risk of mould as a result of the packaging is greatly reduced.

So antimicrobials in food packaging can help to prevent mould and bacteria transferring to food from the packaging itself.

 

Supermarkets Are Asking For Antimicrobial Protection

Supermarkets are coming under more pressure to throw away less food. Courtauld 2025 is a voluntary pledge that most UK supermarkets have signed to reduce food waste, and part of that initiative is to ensure the food available is suitable for sale and consumption. So naturally, packaging and supply chain must be looked at closely.

Similarly supermarkets are looking into hygiene and how they can use more environmentally friendly solutions. Antimicrobial containers, and equipment require less harsh cleaning products because they stay mould and bacteria free naturally, which also means they need to be replaced less often.

 

Antimicrobials in Restaurants and Food Manufacturing Plants

Antimicrobials in professional kitchens and manufacturing plants are also becoming a hot topic. Whether you produce food to sell in a restaurant or on mass, you want the best assurance possible that the food is not contaminated by bacteria, fungi or mould. So antimicrobials are being added to all sorts of items: conveyor belts, chopping boards, food platters, shelving, flooring, walls, cleaning equipment, utensils, the list goes on and on.

 

Why Should You Use Our Antimicrobial Solution?

Simply put, we chose the product we have on offer because it’s the best in the industry. And we’ll explain why.

We use Sanitized® antimicrobials, because Sanitized® offer our customers far more than just a product, they offer a service too. SANITIZED is a Swiss company who have been specialist antimicrobial manufacturers for over 80 years, their products are the best you can get.

They have the advantage of having the most comprehensive knowledge of and research into antimicrobial additives in the world. They offer testing for finished products which include Sanitized antimicrobials and regularly re-test to ensure the quality of your antimicrobial protection remains high.

In addition, Sanitized® are a marketer’s best friend. They supply you with all the information and collateral you need to sell your new USP, including use of their logo on your products branding. They even regularly promote products containing Sanitized®to their online audience via their blog, their app and their newsletters.

You’ll probably recognise their logo too, it can be seen on packaging relating to many medical products, utensils and even clothing on the high street.

 

Can I Switch To Sanitized®?

Yes, switching from a generic antimicrobial to the Sanitized® product is relatively easy. So if you’re ready to make more of promoting your product’s antimicrobial qualities, maybe it’s time to switch to an antimicrobial that includes all the marketing and product support that Sanitized® can offer?

Addi-Tec are the official UK distributor of Sanitized®, so give us a call and we can discuss which Sanitized® product is best for your application.