A biofilm consists of colonies of microorganisms linked together and attached to a solid support, which provides them with stability, nutrients and protection. It consists of microbial cells surrounded by a matrix formed by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) such as proteins and polysaccharides. A biofilm facilitates the proliferation of microorganisms by providing them with a protected, moist and nutrient rich environment. The sticky, dense and very viscous matrix represents a physical defense that protects microorganisms very effectively against external agression.
Biofilms usually consist of several microbial species simultaneously: bacteria, moulds, algae, etc., they develop on surfaces that favour their adherence (porous, grated or rough) or that have undergone a deficient cleaning and disinfection programme.
The formation of biofilms on surfaces follows a sequential process that starts with the adhesion of cells to the surface. This results in the formation of microcolonies, which induces phenotypic changes in the grouped cells. This enables them to adapt to the new environment and begin to produce EPS to form the biofilm matrix and make it grow. The mature biofilm has a structure that extends perpendicularly to the surface, often mushroom-shaped, and has channels that allow the circulation of water.
The presence of biofilms in food processing installations represents a great risk for food safety and may also cause operational problems in the equipment. Biofilms provide a protective function to the microorganisms that they host, decreasing the efficacy of disinfection treatments.
Our Customer Service Department offers you a series of services aimed at the control of biofilms in your facilities:
1. Study of the spots where biofilms can be developed more easily and the factors that favour their formation.
2. Implementation of the necessary measures for the destruction of the detected biofilms.
3. Advice on the definition and implementation of strategies to avoid the formation of biofilms.
4. Periodic verification of the effectiveness of the control methods.