Plant Hygiene: A Vital Component of the Manufacturing Process
Every manufacturer aims to deliver a quality product to his customer. One of the main quality requirements is keeping the product microbiologically stable until used. Being water-based, these products are surely susceptible to microbial decontamination and degradation. Regular preservative biocides are usually added to protect the product and deliver quality to customers.
It has been proven, by multiple tests, that adding a preservative only is not effective to preserve the product. This discovery allowed us to understand that the product must initially be manufactured in a decontaminated environment and under a typically controlled hygiene process. This way, the product is manufactured with the minimum microbial load which gives a significantly higher quality for the product.
Plant Hygiene Philosophy
The philosophy of a plant hygiene process is to locate plant processes, procedures, practices, equipment, and raw materials that can contribute to microbial contamination. With this knowledge, problem areas can be addressed economically and before serious quality issues impact the final product. In general, many of the steps of the chemical manufacturing process are common across the industry. This allows a generalized discussion of how to implement a plant hygiene program. Attention to these common areas of concern in the manufacturing process will eliminate the vast majority of microbial-induced problems. It is understood that more detailed analyses (usually still based on these same areas of concern) may be required to solve more difficult and unusual problems. Individualized plant hygiene programs will need to be developed for each particular manufacturing process; however, this should not be difficult in most cases. The general areas requiring attention are: