A glass of Water can be the Difference between Yum- Yum and Yucky!Dec 01, 2018
Most of us must eat outside food regularly; either home delivered or eat-in. But you might not have thought about the quality of the water they use to make our food or beverages.
As water is the key component of most food and beverage makers, it is very crucial(for us!) to ensure the safety and quality of a facility's water. Water quality should be monitored to determine impurity levels that could affect the maker’s end product (be it any food or beverage), and if the water is posing any threats to the operations.
When it comes to the food industry, water is used for different purposes:
- It is used for cleaning and sanitising food and non-food contact surfaces,
- For environmental cleaning of product packaging.
- It is used as an ingredient or used for cooling or heating.
Importance Of Water Quality Monitoring
The monitoring and treatment of a facility’s water are very important as it can affect all aspects of the processing operations.Also, it has to be considered that the used water leaving the plant must meet discharge limits set by the regulatory bodies or the municipalities.
Water quality monitoring can also help in reducing operating costs and supporting sustainability efforts.
Where and how a plant uses water in its facility will determine the possible risk it might pose to the operations or the product produced.Depending on the requirement of the facility, water can be changed, altered or adapted either mechanically or chemically.
When it is used as an ingredient, low water quality can affect its taste and consistency of the food product.
For some ‘taste-sensitive’ industries, such as breweries, distilleries and beverage manufacturers, a consistent flavor in the final product should be maintained.
In the industries where hot dogs or lunch meats are made,low-quality water can cause off-colors and smell, and existent undesirable chemicals could contaminate the product.
Water alkalinity, pH and dissolved oxygen content in the low-quality water can damage the equipment.
Clogging of the sediments in the equipment will prevent proper water flow.
Even if the municipal water meets the quality standards,it may not meet the producer’s needs upon arrival at the facility, as there might be issues in the facility’s distribution system.
How Can We Test The Water?
Water has to be tested to ensure the consistency and quality needed for the specific applications in the industry.
The water has to be tested for the following:
Both microbiological and chemical assessments should also be performed on the water to ensure it meets the specifications guided by the processing requirements.These measurements can be made directly in line or use a sampling method.
A mix of both lab/portable and process analyzers are among the many tests used to check for any issues.Process analyzers can continuously monitor the water quality and quickly see changes in the quality of the water. This helps operators to make immediate changes that ensure water quality.
How Can Water Be Treated?
There are a number of technologies available to improve the quality and safety of the water.
Treatment methods are based on either chemical or non-chemical technologies.
The chemical method uses oxidizing and non-oxidizing biocides for microbiological and corrosion control.
Non-chemical methods include the use of reverse osmosis membrane technology, ion exchange, activated carbon filtration, DE aeration, settling and UV disinfection to remove contaminants and deactivate pathogens and other troublesome microorganisms.