hydrogen peroxide for food processing

Food Processing

Bleaching agents and biocides for the food & beverage industry

Due to remarkable chemical properties and biological degradability hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid are often utilized in food processing applications.


Hydrogen peroxide is today an important industrial chemical but it is also quite common in nature. In some living organisms hydrogen peroxide is created by certain enzymes as a co-product of biochemical reactions. Nature provides not only the enzymes producing hydrogen peroxide, but also those which break it down into the biologically neutral substances water and oxygen.

Decomposition by catalase, an enzyme occurring in all plants, animals and microorganisms opens an easy and natural way for hydrogen peroxide elimination after processing steps. Enzyme catalyzed decomposition is the principal method for removal of hydrogen peroxide residues in food processing (except aseptic packaging) and preparation of food additives.

Due to its remarkable chemical properties and biological degradability hydrogen peroxide is often utilized in food processing applications. It is by far the most widely used peroxygen reagent for bleaching purposes in the food industry. Various types of compounds are bleached with peroxides - natural oils, waxes, gums, natural sugars and starches. Hydrogen peroxide is used for color adjustment not only for final products, but starting materials also. Such foods like herring, instant tea, starch, cheese whey, tripe or natural fatty acid emulsifiers are treated with hydrogen peroxide to increase whiteness.

Hydrogen peroxide's antimicrobial and fungicidal activity is used for the preservation of aqueous solutions of natural proteins or carbohydrates (collagen of starch) or milk for cheese production. Before cheese making or the further processing of collagen solutions, hydrogen peroxide is removed by catalase. Preparation of various food additives is another application field of hydrogen peroxide. One of the technologically relevant methods of modified starch preparation is its treatment with oxidants, like hydrogen peroxide.

For food processing applications Evonik supplies high purity hydrogen peroxide food grade PERSYNT® and other regional food grades. PERSYNT®  food grades fulfill the purity requirements both of European Pharmacopoeia as well as of the American Food Chemical Codex.

Please check with your regional contact about the right grade for your application.

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PERACLEAN® products have proven highly effective for applications in the food industry over years. In the PERACLEAN® line Evonik provides products with a wide range of peracetic acid concentrations. A particular feature of peracetic acid is its very broad spectrum of anti-microbial effects, its fast reaction and its excellent effectiveness at low temperatures. PERACLEAN® does not form any chlorinated compounds.
If discharged into an effluent stream, it rapidly decomposes into water, oxygen and acetic acid, which is readily biodegradable.

The use of peroxyacetic acid in CIP- or SIP-installations (cleaning or sterilization in place) is common. Cleaning/disinfection is done automatically following a fixed program.

The cleaning agents and disinfectants are used several times and are stacked meanwhile. The control of the disinfectant dosage is done by frequently analyzing the peroxyacetic acid content.

The concentration of PERACLEAN® and the exposure time required for disinfection depend on the application, frequency of cleaning and disinfecting intervals and on the resulting level of germs. It is always advisable to conduct micro-biological checks in order to optimise the concentration and exposure time for any given disinfecting task. Treated surfaces are always rinsed with water before reuse.

Please check with your regional contact about the right grade for your application.

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