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How clean is your beverage plant, really? Carbotect will tell you, simply, cheaply and immediately

With food safety and factory hygiene the flashing stars atop the SA food industry’s priority pyramid, there was never a more apt time for the relaunch of Carbotect, an innovative, locally-developed factory hygiene management tool that offers a multitude of benefits.

Developed by savvy chemist, Dr Robin Kirkpatrick (one of the original developers of SA’s now globally famed ‘radical water’), Carbotect was originally introduced in 2014 as a simple ‘Stop/Go’ cleaning verification test in the food and beverage industries.

Since then the technology has undergone a further four years of reformulation, redesign and repackaging, as Kirkpatrick explains: “With our new, disruptive hygiene management tool we’ve moved ahead to effectively create an instant QA laboratory in a box – and are offering a valuable and cost-effective adjunct to conventional hygiene monitoring and QA/QS programmes.”

He outlines Carbotect’s key features:

  • It is a proactive approach, allowing the instant and reliable detection of inadequate hygiene practices on the factory floor – before product is processed and pre-empting the mad reactive scramble when lab tests come back negative.
  • Its repeatable sensitivity to ultra-low levels of organic compounds means that it has the capacity to detect the presence of biofilms in water supply systems – thus further mitigating microbial contamination in high-risk facilities. 
  • It is a simple, colour-based, user-friendly and CAPEX-free diagnostic test, and a unique opportunity to empower production staff and to underwrite product integrity.
  • It is specifically geared to afford plant production personnel with quality decision-making capacity on the factory floor without having to rely on costly laboratory interventions.
  • The test is ideally suited to geographically-isolated food and beverage facilities without ready access to accredited laboratory capacity, or for continuous processing plants where laboratory facilities are not available on a 24/7 basis.

“At last there is a rapid and consistently reliable test to detect biofilm without disassembling piping and associated infrastructure,” comments Kirkpatrick.

Food allergen testing

The Carbotect technology is sensitive to all carbon-based compounds and will detect all organic categories of food and beverage ingredients.

This extends from simple sugars and starches through to complex compounds including the variety of proteins of animal, fish and plant origin.

“The dual capacity of ultra-low-level sensitivity to a broad spectrum of contaminants means that the Carbotect test can be used as a ‘first pass’ assessment to confirm the presence of residual food allergens,” says Kirkpatrick.

“It thus offers a broad-based screening result against all potentially hazardous allergen residues – prior to embarking on costly allergen-specific testing in a competent laboratory.”

Carbotect is available as a single-use sachet, a standardised 100ml sample bottle and the proprietary colour comparison chart.

The final rinse water sample is collected, the contents of the sachet are added and the colour reaction that develops within 5 minutes provides a definitive result as to whether and at what measure, organic contaminants are present in the sample (see more on the video below).

“Carbotect is a novel and proven technology which drives the shift away from a conventionally reactive intervention strategy to a more proactive and holistically quality assured outcome,” Kirkpatrick concludes.

Carbotect is currently available through the following agencies:

Selectech – [email protected]

Innogiene –[email protected]