Top Tips to Make Your CIP and COP Systems Work For You

This is part 1 of an 8 part series of engineering tips on how to get the most out of clean-in-place (CIP) & clean-out-of-place (COP) systems for the sanitary engineering industry.
Typical Three Tank CIP System *Printed as of Food Safety magazine

Tip 1. Identify and use the right cleaning chemicals and sanitizing solutions. It is essential that the right cleaner be employed in CIP systems. The chemical solution or treatment used in the CIP system must be capable of reaching all surfaces, and the surfaces are ideally made of stainless steel, not softer metals. It is recommended that cleaning solution be changed approximately every 48 hours, where applicable. Some common types of cleaners and sanitizers used in CIP systems include:
• Hypochlorite’s (potassium, sodium or calcium hypochlorite). These sanitizing agents are proven sanitizers for clean stainless-steel food contact surfaces, but the processor needs to maintain strict control of pH and concentration levels. Hypochlorite can be highly corrosive, and when improperly used, produces corrosive gas above 115F.
• Chlorine Gas. Like hypochlorite’s, chlorine gas is effective in CIP applications when used as a sanitizer for clean stainless food contact surfaces and requires tight pH and concentration control by processor. It can also be highly corrosive to stainless steel, and when improperly used, produces corrosive gas above 115F.
• Peracetic Acid. Peracetic acid is a combination of hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid (vinegar) and a minute amount of stabilizer that form a strong oxidizing agent. These sanitizers are effective against all microorganisms, including spoilage organisms, pathogens and bacterial spores. Characterized by a strong odor such that you may want to use in well-ventilated areas, peracetic acid solutions are effective over a wide pH range and can be applied in cool or warm water in CIP systems or as sprays/washes in COP processes to all food contact surfaces in the plant.
• Chlorine Dioxide. If the production line is soiled with high organic loads, such as those found in poultry or fruit processing, chlorine dioxide is good to consider for use in the CIP system. This is because chlorine dioxide is effective against all types of microorganisms even when organic matter is present on interior surfaces. However, preparation of this chemical should be automated because of its corrosiveness in acid solution.
• Acid Anionic (organic acids and anionic surfactant). The combination of an acid with surface-active agents produce a cleaning, rinsing and sanitizing solution that is ideal in CIP systems in which the removal or control of water hardness films or millstone (such as in dairy processes) is critical. Acid-anionic surfactants are effective against most bacteria, and are odorless, relatively nontoxic and noncorrosive to stainless steel.
• Ozone. Approved by FDA for use on food contact surfaces, ozone-enriched water systems recirculate treated water through piping and equipment as a sanitizing treatment in CIP systems and processes. Ozone is also used in COP operations, applied as a direct ozonated water spray on food-contact and nonfood-contact surfaces, including equipment, walls, floors, drains, conveyors, tanks and other containers. Ozone-enriched water kills microbes as effectively as chlorine, and since it is generated on-site, its use eliminates the need for personnel to handle, mix and dispose of harsh chemicals for sanitation. Ozone readily reverts to oxygen, an end-product that leaves no residue on contact surfaces.
Read more about CIP Systems

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