Assist in Removing & Suspending Soil

Cleaning is a combination of mechanical, thermal, chemical energies and time. Chemical energy provided by the detergent has a large influence on the required inputs from the other two energies and the time to clean.

A detergent by definition is a surfactant or mixture of surfactants that has cleaning properties in dilute solution with water. The term is used for a wide range of products that assist in removing soil from a surface and suspending it in solution and allowing it to be rinsed away.

When selecting the correct product for an application it is essential to identify: the soiling to be removed, the materials of construction and therefore chemical compatibility of the surface the soiling is sitting on, site water hardness and chemistry, water temperature, method of application and effluent handling.

Often soils are comprised of a matrix of both organic and inorganic components.  Selecting the correct cleaning chemistry is then a challenge.  Chemicals that are suitable for removing organic soils will generally have little or no direct effect on minerals, likewise detergents designed to dissolve minerals will not dissolve organic material.  However, if one component of a composite soil is chemically removed, then very often other components are removed by the physical action of turbulent flow. 





Detergents are made up of simple functional chemicals that react and break down soiling, surfactants that provide additional effects such as wetting, emulsifying or defoaming and other additional components to either enhance the performance or control scale formation.

The caustic components such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and sodium metasilicate act to saponify organic fatty material (convert fats/oils to soaps) and hydrolyse organic material such as proteins. Some caustic detergents are formulated to contain foam suppressing agents; designed to control the foam produced by the soaps formed between the caustic and fats.

Scale control agents also called chelating agents or sequestrants are added to inhibit or stop the formation of mineral scale (typically calcium carbonate) on surfaces. The mineral components coming from the water (hard water) and the soil (for example dairy product).

Surfactants are a primary component of cleaning detergents. The word surfactant means surface active agent. Surfactants have a hydrophobic (water-hating) tail and a hydrophilic (water-loving) head. Surfactants have many varied properties that can be ustilised, such as: wetting of the soil, suspension of soil, foam production, foam suppression.

Oxidising agents can be added to enhance the break up of large organic molecules, such as proteins, by hydrolysis to form smaller particles that are easily rinsed away.  Sodium hypochlorite is a strong oxidising agent and is often formulated with caustic products. Although hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidiser, it cannot be formulated into caustic products but is sometimes used as an additive during the clean to enhance performance.

Light Duty Cleaning

Break or interim cleaning products, often detergent disinfectants, remove light debris while reducing microbial contamination. With a benefit of minimising water these products, sometimes alcohol based, are applied by fine spray from a trigger in combination with a disposable wipe or by using a hygiene wipe.
QAC biocide products, either water or alcohol based, are most commonly used; however if MRL (Maximum Residual Level) issues are a concern then the range of non-QAC products can be used.


Fat & Protein Rremoval

Food processing soils are a combination of fats, protein and to a lesser extent mineral deposits. Alkaline products used for manual cleaning or foam application perform through the hydrolysis of fats and proteins as well as the emulsification of fats.

Foaming enables a longer contact with the soil and has many benefits of application.


Oven & Fryer Cleaning

Highly carbonised deposits, in combination with residual oil and polymerised oils, provide a significant challenge to conventional caustic based cleaners.

The fryer and oven cleaning range now also includes products specifically designed to tackle these problems, providing real benefits in cleanliness and safety.


Tray & Crate Washing

The short contact time with detergent and the low impact energies of the wash nozzles means that to clean effectively, high chemical and high thermal energies are utilised. In most situations a caustic low foam detergent, to suit water hardness, is used. A range of non-caustic detergents is provided for sensitive materials such as aluminium, Teflon and polycarbonate, e.g. chocolate moulds.


Cleaning in Place (CIP)

In general, most process systems that are cleaned in place are constructed of stainless steel with a variety of polymers used as seal materials. This, and the fact that during cleaning operatives are not exposed to the cleaning solutions, allow the use of highly caustic (alkaline) or highly acidic products.

With highly caustic products, sequestration is important for control of mineral scale drop out from water hardness or from high calcium containing soils.


Minerals from water or the food product can form scale which shows up typically as a white deposit. Alkaline product ranges are formulated to enable the correct product to be chosen to cope with this mineral challenge. However, in certain cases where scale has formed, correctly chosen acid based products will remove the deposit. Challenges on effluent discharge with traditional phosphoric and nitric acid (due to low or zero P & N consents) can be overcome with our Nopac acid range of detergents.



Detergent Types


Detergent chemistry and application method define the different product ranges.

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