ST. PAUL , MINN. – Ecolab Inc. has developed a breakthrough cleaning program, Exelerate ZTF, to help food manufacturers address the challenges associated with cleaning trans-fat-free food oil residue from processing equipment and environmental surfaces.

According to the company, the patent-pending program cut the cleaning time in half during initial testing and is the first product of its kind to address the emerging issue of cleaning difficult zero trans-fat oil versus traditional oils for food manufacturers.

“As the use of zero trans-fat oils has rapidly increased, removal of cooked-on oil from processing equipment has proven to be a time-consuming and difficult challenge for food processors,” said Timothy P. Mulhere, Ecolab’s senior vice president and general manager, Food & Beverage North America. “Ecolab developed Exelerate ZTF as part of our ongoing effort to deliver the solutions food processors need to produce safer, high-quality products and measurably improve operational efficiency.”

Ecolab relays processing food with zero trans-fat oils has created the unexpected consequence of coating processing equipment and environmental surfaces with stubborn soils as the oil breaks down during the frying and baking process. Food processors are discovering equipment and surfaces that come into contact with the zero trans-fat oils – or the oil mist from the cooking process – become covered with a sticky, varnish-like coating. These soils are very difficult to clean using traditional methods and can pose both food safety and worker safety issues due to slippery, sticky surfaces and their potential as a fire hazard.

Exelerate ZTF breaks down difficult polymerized oil soils on fryers, ovens, mixers and other plant surfaces enabling them to be cleaned more thoroughly, the company said. The gelled product application clings to equipment and surfaces to dissolve zero trans-fat soils, making it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas, including fryer hood vents, walls, ceilings and plant catwalks, it added.