What is a biofilm ?
A biofilm is a source of constant contamination created by an accumulation of bacteria who develop a protective matrix made of organic polymers (EPS) polysaccharides, proteins, DNA, lipids, etc.
- Biofilms have a protective matrix that protects bacteria, making them more resistant to traditional cleaning and disinfection agents.
Some facts about biofilms
- 80% of the microbial biomass on our planet are biofilm
- Microorganisms from biofilm are 10 to 1000 times more resistant to antimicrobial agents or biocids
- 60% of foodborne illnesses are caused by biofilms
- 8 hours is enough to develop a biofilm
- If a microorganism is found in the environment, there is 70% chance of it getting into the food
Which microorganisms can be found into a biofilm ?
Some slime producers who build biofilm matrix :
• Listeria monocytogenes
• Bacillus cereus & mycoïdes
• Salmonella spp.
• Campylobacter spp.
• Pseudomonas aerothermophilus
• Leuconostoc spp.
• Cronobacter spp (Enterobacter sakazakii)
Some who benefit from the protective matrix :
- Other (pathogens) microorganisms
- Spoiling enzymes
- Spores, molds & yeasts
Biofilm growth cycle
Biofilm is a constant source of contamination due to the unpredictable release of microorganisms and organic polymers.
Symptoms of potential biofilm contamination
- Foodborne illnesses
- Defective batches
- Shelf-life reduction
- Product recall
- Instable micro trends
- Recurrent non-conformity
- Production capacity reduction
- Off-flavors, off-notes, organoleptic issues
- Positive stress test
- Market returns & complaints
- Finished Good Losses (FGL)
- Metagenetics : appearance of abundant (dominant) species
Adverse effects of biofilm
- Sanitary risks
- Economic losses
- Reduction in quality of final products
- Reduction of productivity
- Bacterial resistance to disinfectants
- Surface corrosion
Realco has become the world leader in biofilm prevention.
After 2 years of research, the “Biofilm Expert” project has been published in the Swiss journal “Frontiers”, one of the most distinguished scientific journals in the field of microbiology.
The study analyzed the impact of various cleaning protocols, such as regular enzymatic cleaning, on the quality and, thus, the shelf life of food products. It compared the results of a cleaning protocol based on traditional chemistry with those of enzymatic treatments at different frequencies.
Rigorous sampling has allowed us to scientifically prove that the elimination of biofilms on surfaces and the tools used during the production process enhances the quality of food products and extends their shelf life.
Learn more about our biofilm approach here !
Recurrent hygiene problems or severe contamination issues on your production site ?
Call our expert teams on +32 (0) 10 45 30 00 or firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for an audit !
Realco ensures optimal hygiene of your facilities until decontamination.