CleanLight tech improves sanitation standards for sesame seed “with little effect on flavor”
05 Jan 2021 --- Global players in the sesame seed business are continually looking for ways to improve their product in terms of hygiene but without affecting flavor. CleanLight, a Netherland-based start-up, works with producers and traders to improve the hygiene levels for sesame using its installation hoods.
Today, most sesame seeds are produced in tropical countries, such as India and Uganda. Many of those sesame seeds are consumed in countries with strict hygiene standards, such as Germany and the US.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Arne Aiking, CEO of CleanLight, says: “The implication is that higher standards of hygiene can be achieved [in terms of food safety and shelf life] without increasing the usage of chemicals.”
“The market for sesame seed has been altered since inspectors have found certain pesticides that are forbidden in Europe and the US (such as ethylene oxide) in contaminated lots of sesame seed.”
“We can see that after 15 years on the market, the pandemic has put a spotlight on the possibilities of germicidal UV technology, specifically in the food industry,” he notes.
“Producers need to sanitize their product, and yet they prefer not to apply chemical products that may or may not be acceptable in any given market,” explains Damian van Dijk, account manager at CleanLight.
“Back in 2018, some of the big producers started looking at the use of CleanLight. They needed to verify efficacy, but they also wanted to ensure that there was no effect in terms of taste, smell and such,” van Dijk notes.
No adverse effect on taste
Trials confirmed the pathogen load could be substantially reduced. Taste tests confirmed no negative effect on flavor, according to CleanLight.
The next stage was installation in a producing region. That involved exporting the equipment from the factory in the Netherlands.
“We also work with the producers and traders after installation. Sometimes our customers make improvements to facilitate the flow of the seed, or to kill off an even higher percentage of the Salmonella contaminants,” adds Aiking.
“Our customers usually share those improvements with us, and we incorporate those improvements in subsequent installations.”
“For example, the HACCP organization does, rightfully, not allow the chance that glass shards end up in the food. That presented a serious challenge that we could solve thanks to our years of experience in the treatment of hard and soft fruits with the CleanLight technology, where similar concerns existed,” he notes.
Its customers typically conclude that one CleanLight hood can treat 150 kg of sesame seed per hour, Damian adds.
“Our customers are pleased with consistently good results. Some have decided to double their capacity with more CleanLight hoods. That means they can supply even more sesame seeds, meeting the strictest standards of hygiene for their global customer base,” he concludes.
By Elizabeth Green
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