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Moba egg graders are packed with technology. Some designs are worth further investigation as they represent crucial customer value. In this series of articles, we will be zooming in on these "hidden gems". In the March edition of Moba News, we discussed the effect of UV disinfection. However, in some parts of the machine, like the packer itself, it is not possible to use this disinfection method as the UV is not able to reach all of the packer parts. To circumvent this issue, Moba technicians have successfully applied nanotechnology to the industrial plastics used for the packer parts. This technology strongly inhibits the growth of microbial contamination and, by doing so, constitutes an important step in the overall food safety program found in Moba egg graders.
Moba is proud of the fact that we both design and produce industrial plastics in our factory in the Netherlands. In this factory, which is one of the most modern facilities in the industry and was only completed last year, we can create our own plastics with very specific properties.
Adding a special mix of titanium dioxide and silver ions to the plastics gives the packer parts that touch the eggs anti-bacterial properties. The silver ions suppress the respiration of bacteria, adversely affecting the bacteria's cellular metabolism and inhibiting cell growth. The additives are all certified for use in the food industry, including FDA and EU10/2011 approval. As this technology acts as a safety shield against bacterial growth on parts that come into contact with the eggs, this technology is known as "Moba Ovoshield".
The three mechanisms of bacterial deactivation using silver ions are illustrated above. In addition, titanium dioxide acts as a photocatalyst. Although these nanoparticles are not directly involved in a chemical reaction, they cause organic materials to oxidize under the influence of water, oxygen and light. The effect of titanium dioxide is also enhanced by the silver ions.
In every Omnia machine, the use of nanotechnology means that all of the packer parts that come into contact with the eggs have disinfecting properties. The nanoparticles do not wear out but remain part of the plastics’ properties throughout the lifetime of the parts. And all Moba plastics are fully recyclable, meaning the nano additives won't pollute the environment if properly disposed of once the parts have reached the end of their service life.
The properties of the plastics are selected and designed in such a way that it is difficult for liquids to stick to the materials in the first place. Under normal circumstances, bacterial loads on the receiver-, buffer- and drop-set parts are very low. Under abnormal circumstances, such as very high temperatures and constantly high humidity levels, the potential risk of cross-contamination is significantly reduced thanks to the nanotechnology in the plastics.