Identifying a gap in the market for an antimicrobial product that could treat the bacteria present within concrete, DEFLECTA® set to work developing a bacteria control system for facilities in the food industry. Now, in addition to a flagship antimicrobial product and a list of accreditations, DEFLECTA® offers a complete range of concrete protection solutions.
Foodprocessing-technology.com spoke to Danny Hawks, CEO of DEFLECTA®, to find out more about the company’s bacteria control solutions for the food processing industry.
Why is controlling bacteria so crucial for food processing facilities, and how can DEFLECTA® products help with this?
Bacteria control and its spread is significant to our health and the health of our environment. Being proactive in sanitising concrete floors and walls is only part of the hygiene measures required to keep food processing and manufacturing facilities clean. If left untreated, this bacterial contamination affects processes within a facility. Bacteria growth begins from the time of a concrete pour; its growth and moisture content all become relevant factors in determining the sanitising process. With old concrete slabs, this issue can be of greater significance.
DEFLECTA ANTIMICROBIAL® is the prime example of a product that, when applied, kills 99.99% of bacteria on both the concrete surface and within its matrix, reducing the bacterial load within the facility. With the movement of materials within the supply chain, there is a greater propensity to transmit present bacteria and pathogens further. DEFLECTA® products cater to the entire food chain, from the farmer and raw produce storage to manufacturing (processing and storage), wholesale and retail.
By not controlling moisture content within the concrete substrate, several issues become apparent:
- High moisture within the substrate over time causes topical coatings / flooring to delaminate from the substrate. Moisture will break down most adhesions, causing delamination of the flooring system.
- When osmosis occurs at the concrete surface, coatings such as epoxy / polyurethane surfaces can crack, allowing moisture ingress to become trapped underneath these coatings and providing a haven for bacteria. By treating the concrete substrate with an appropriate nominated DEFLECTA® product, substrate longevity increases, bacteria levels and odours reduce while moisture control minimises delamination of the concrete surface.
A two-part application system was developed by DEFLECTA® for the Asian market, particularly for humid locations where mould is an ongoing problem. The process first requires the application of DEFLECTA ANTIMICROBIAL® for bacteria and moisture control on the surface and within the matrix of the cementitious materials. This is followed by DEFLECTA MULTI SEALER®, a coloured surface sealer with antibacterial / antimould actives to control mould growth. This system has been applied in many trials within South East Asia’s food processing facilities since 2015, proceeding to completed projects using this interrelated structure. These products are assisting with bioburden reduction, cleaning protocols, and hygiene within the environment of the facility.
Trials commenced in 2008 for an environmentally safe application system for one of Australia’s largest supermarket chains for their freezers, chillers, and back of house, protecting these areas from pathogens and sealing of dust at the concrete surface. This application commenced in 2009 and DEFLECTA® still applies this bacterial control system today.
What kind of scientific research and trials were carried out in making the DEFLECTA® product range when you first started out?
DEFLECTA’s chemist first analysed and documented the data of the initial formulations of DEFLECTA ANTIMICROBIAL® to progress to independent external testing. NATA Accredited Laboratories were engaged to test for the bacterium, gram-negative, and gram-positive on controlled concrete treated block samples. These microbiological laboratory trials were the first worldwide to use the methodologies developed by DEFLECTA®, confirming the product’s efficacy for killing and controlling bacteria on and within concrete.
Based on this success, it became imperative to certify this product. Via submission of product testing efficacy to the Australian Government (APVMA), this work was a valuable solution in controlling micro-organisms in a facility environment, either internally or externally. Over a six-year period, this process went from internal testing, external testing, methodology of product and finally product registration.
DEFLECTA® applied to the Australian Pesticides Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for product certification and registration, which was granted in 2009, verifying the products’ efficacy in killing 99.99% of bacteria on or within concrete. The registration enabled a tested product to be applied in food handling and storage environments, hospitals, veterinary facilities and animal housing etc., with clarity the product would work for a minimum of five years. Separately, sites and controlled samples are inspected and tested ten years on, still maintaining the products’ presence and activity.
All DEFLECTA® products begin with a raw in-house formulation within our R&D division and after extensive tests and trials, these products progress to independent testing. Once these products have demonstrated their efficacy for either bacteria control, moisture suppression, surface density, slip resistance, water or oil repellences they are then released to the market.
How does DEFLECTA® ensure that it continues to provide customers with innovative and effective concrete protection solutions?
DEFLECTA® is driven by innovation. This makes it easy for us to embrace our mission and vision to provide enhanced, ecological, and sustainable concrete protection solutions. DEFLECTA® is a global market leader in research and development for concrete protection, providing cost-effective solutions to clients.
We continuously listen to our established clients and applicators’ current and future needs while providing modified / refined products and systems where challenges present.
DEFLECTA®’s ability to provide innovative and practical solutions to the market is due to the many years of flooring experience and knowledge within the company. This has allowed DEFLECTA® to respond quickly and begin new developments to clients’ specific requirements. DEFLECTA® may not always have the internal resources needed to achieve a result; therefore, specific outsourcing where required ensures that the client’s requirements are satisfied.
Do your products have any certifications, and what is the importance of this?
All products are rigorously tested in DEFLECTA®‘s in-house environmentally controlled laboratory and then verified by third party certified laboratories, providing clients with their independent assessments.
All independent registrations and certificates have their respective importance within the construction industry, for architects, engineers, epidemiologists and to the client/owner of new or existing facility environments and requirements.
- Government – DEFLECTA ANTIMICROBIAL® (since 2009) and DEFLECTA ANTIBACTERIAL® (since 2017) are two Australian products registered by The Australian Government (Australian Pesticides Veterinary Medicines Authority). This certification states the efficacy of a kill rate of 99.99% of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus – E. coli – Listeria – Salmonella) applied on and within concrete for a minimum of five years, safe for use around both humans and animals.
- HACCP – Certified by HACCP INTERNATIONAL are ‘Floor and Wall Surface and Treatments’ – DEFLECTA ANTIMICROBIAL® (bacteria and moisture control), DEFLECTA ANTIBACTERIAL® (bacteria control), DEFLECTA SURFACE BINDER® (surface sealer / dust proofer with bacteria control), DEFLECTA MULTI SEALER® (colour concrete surface sealer, satin finish, bacteria and mould control), DEFLECTA TOPEL®(hydrophobic concrete sealer) are approved as food-safe floor and wall surface treatments, suitable for use in food and beverage facilities that operate in accordance with a HACCP-based Food Safety Programme.
- VOC – These DEFLECTA® products have Low VOC Content certificates, verifying that the product specifications meet the Green Building Council of Australia – Green Star Design & As-Built – Green Star Interiors and Green Star Office Design.
- Slip Rating – DEFLECTA ANTIMICROBIAL® and DEFLECTA SURFACE BINDER® combined application, DEFLECTA TOPEL® and DEFLECTA® TOPEL-OTM have slip rating classification.