"Concentrated chemicals used in the conventional cleaning are stored on the farm and on contact, they can cause serious burns in the eyes and on skin," says Dr. Ali Demirci, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering. And, he says the chemicals are also expensive.
Most farms across the United States use some form of mechanized system to milk cows. The set-up basically comprises a rubber-lined suction cup that milks the cow and transfers the milk to a central refrigerating tank, through a series of pipes.
At day’s end, the whole system is cleaned in a four-step process: first the pipes are rinsed with warm water to remove the milk. Then they are flushed with a chlorinated detergent at high temperature to remove soils such as fat and protein deposits, and then with a weak acid to neutralize the detergent and remove mineral deposits.
Finally, the pipes have to be sanitized with an EPA-registered sanitizing agent before they can be used again.
Demirci and his colleagues tried to clean the milk pipes using electrolyzed oxidizing water, as other researchers had shown its effectiveness in cleaning fresh produce, eggs, etc.
Electrolyzed oxidizing water is created when electric current flowing through two electrodes – immersed in a weak salt solution and separated by a membrane – produces an alkaline and an acidic solution.
"It is not as expensive as the detergents, and can be made with just a little bit of salt and water," says Demirci, whose findings are published in the December 2005 issue of Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
To test how the new cleaning agent measured up to conventional detergent, the researchers flushed warm milk laden with bacteria down a series of pipes set up to mimic the system on a farm, and they compared the cleaning power of both in turns.
Results showed that in between 7.5 to 10 minutes, the electrolyzed oxidizing water was as effective in removing organic matter from the pipes, as conventional treatments.
"It is not harmful to the skin, and much cheaper. The alkaline detergent and acidic rinse in conventional systems of cleaning can be replaced with this water," says Demirci.
Other researchers include Stephen P. Walker, graduate student; Robert E. Graves, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Stephen B. Spencer, professor emeritus in the Department of Dairy and Animal Science; and Robert F. Roberts, associate professor in the Department of Food Science, all at Penn State.
Amitabha Avasthi | EurekAlert!
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine