CIP cleaning and sanitization of the ice cream plant equipment is necessary to assure the quality of the products. It is futile to sterilize dirty equipment, which calls for thorough cleaning.
Conducting a thorough cleaning will not only make the equipment clean but also provide an opportunity to inspect the facility for wear and tear.
The equipment can be scrapped using an abrasive material or a detergent under high pressure can be used. Soap use is discouraged as it is very difficult to completely rinse from the system and leaves a thin film on the surface of the equipment. Strong alkali may corrode the equipment.
Some of the cleaning detergents include:
- Sodium metasilicate
- Sodium carbonate (softening agent)
- Trisodium phosphate
Sulphonated alcohols are very instrumental as softening agents in the cleaning detergents.
Some of the factors affecting the cleaning agents include
- Temperature of the cleaning solution
- Concentration of the cleaning agent
- Contact time of the cleaning solution
- Pressure exerted by the cleaning solution
The procedure for cleaning the equipment in an ice cream plant
- Begin by pre-rinsing the equipment with warm water (26-43°C). If the milk has dried on the equipment, let it soak for some time.
- Scrub the surface using brushes with the detergent solution. Brush both inside and outside of the equipment.
- Rinse again with water at 37-43°C to remove all the cleaning agent from the equipment
- Sanitize/sterilize the equipment using certain chemical compounds such as:
- Quaternary ammonium compounds. Dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, which is effective at concentrations of at least 200ppm (or 200mg/kg). These compounds are preferred because of their wetting ability, non-toxicity, and non-corrosive nature. They should be used at pH 5 and a temperature of 23°C.
- Hypochlorites. sodium hypochlorite. These are corrosive and are used at concentrations of between 50-200ppm. These compounds act very fast when used.
- Chloramines. These are very slow in action and used at concentrations of between 50-200ppm.
After sterilization, steam all the equipment at 115°C under pressure for five minutes. Hot water and/or air at between 82-100°C may also be used for ten minutes to sterilize the system.
- Dry the equipment. This step may be omitted if the equipment is to be used immediately.
According to The Society of Dairy Technology, CIP is:
The cleaning of complete items of plant or pipeline circuits without dismantling or opening of the equipment and with little or no manual involvement on the part of the operator.
#CIP cleaning not only removes soil but also bacteria, yeast, and spores you cannot reach by other means Click To Tweet
The efficiency of a CIP system goes beyond what the eyes can see. It not only removes the soil but also traces of bacteria, yeast, and spores, whose effects you may only be trace through smell.
- Begin by rinsing the system.
- Flush the system with an alkaline detergent at 65 – 71°C for 20 – 30 minutes. The alkaline detergent will dissolve fat and protein deposits in the system
- Rinse with water at 68°C for 5 – 7 minutes
- Circulate the cleaning solution, which should be slightly acidic (between 0.15 – 0.6%) under pressure for 25 – 30 minutes. It should dissolve the mineral deposits in the system and neutralize any traces alkaline detergent
- Rinse with cold water then sterilize/sanitize.
Advantages of a CIP cleaning system :
- Minimizes the cleaning time and reduces manual labor involved in cleaning
- Increased economy in use of cleaning detergents, which helps in cutting the operational costs
- Automated systems clean better than manual systems due to their consistency
- Automated cleaning increases the level of equipment/storage space utilization
- CIP systems enhance safety at the processing plant since people do not come into direct contact with the cleaning detergents
- CIP systems can reach and effectively clean places, which you cannot reach by any other means
- Enaced efficiency will definitely improve productivity at the plant. There will be efficient use of water and detergents
Disadvantages of a CIP cleaning system
- Expensive to install
- Needs a professional personnel to operate. Experienced operators are not very cheap
- Once you start cleaning, you cannot stop the process, otherwise you will compromise the hygiene. CIP systems use a constant volume of water even if you just needed to clean one pipe in the system