Dubai, UAE, 8 August 2018: Ecabiotec’s technology Anofood, an Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging technique used for disinfecting food transport vehicles, launched earlier last year, is slowly yet steadily being accepted across food suppliers, traders and transporters across the refrigeration industry in the United Arab Emirates, a representative from the company said.
Pointing out how ULV is no newcomer to the process of disinfection, Lamis Bin Harib, Marketing Director and Partner, Ecabiotec Middle East Manufacturing, said: “There are a number of fogging technologies and ULV is one of them. ULV by itself is not unique, instead what’s interesting is the use ULV cold fogging in a dry 1-10 micron range; this ensures that there is no wetting, as it can lead to additional problems.” She added: “The foggers we use generate fog or mist formed of ULV droplets between 5 and 50 microns (μm) in diameter. In addition, these formulations can be applied in concentrations of 10-90% at flow rates of up to one litre per minute, making them more efficient in the Volume Median Diameter (VMD) spectrum.”
According to Ecabiotec, studies show that droplets of this size are ideal to tackle pathogens and vector carriers. Harib said: “Disinfectants often have several mechanisms of action, which prove to be lethal to microbes at different rates; one of the fastest acting mechanisms is oxidation. The Anofood technique is a strong oxidizer; it rapidly steals electrons from the microbial membrane, resulting in the loss of vital functions and the disruption of its cell wall. This leads to the indiscriminate killing of all unicellular germs, irrespective of bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores.” Elaborating on the factors that make this technology different, Harib said, that the solution is natural, as it composes of 99% electrochemically activated water which has less than 1% salt. “It is a biological disinfectant with no toxins. We find plenty of systematic toxic chemicals in food and we do not seek to have a part in it,” she added.
Highlighting the importance of the technology with reference to transport, Harib said: “Transport is a crucial stage to food supply; Anofood works as a portable solution which can be applied either before the food is loaded, during intervals or even after and while it is being shelved. This makes it a portable natural solution, especially with perishables like fruits, vegetables and meat.” However, she said, that case studies are being conducted as a part of our research and development program, to constantly improve the solution. “We have been conducting case studies with the KSA Seafood Company, Delmonte, Kibsons International, Lulu Hypermarket and Carrefour. In addition to this, we have also tied up with the Ain Shams University in Egypt, who have been conducting a study related to the disinfection process and its application in the agricultural sector, an example for instance, whether the solution can be used to treat viruses found in potatoes or not.
According to Ecabiotec, all their solutions are manufactured in the United Arab Emirates under a German patent and Harib said that the high-grade products are available regionally at a low cost, as compared to the ones imported, yet there are challenges. Harib said: “We have a distributor presence across the GCC region and Jordan and are currently looking at expanding our vision to all regions in the Middle East. Yet, many businesses view it as an added cost, until a trial proves that it helps in offering fresh end-products.” Looking into the future, she said that the company is now exploring the stages that go beyond just food transport, in areas like food display and shelving. She said: “We also do not promote resistance. The technology emits no fumes or gases and hence has no ill-effects on food like the changing of smell, colour or taste.”
Harib said that even though Anofood was launched last year, it is a relatively new solution. But the amount of interest in trailing it alone shows that transport of food is still an area where food supply and transport companies want to do better, in terms of preventing food wastage by the use of natural and effective solutions.