Biofilm is one of the most persistent sources of contamination for the dairy, food and beverage industry resulting in production downtime and contaminated products. In order to detect and prevent the growth of biofilm, GEA has in collaboration with its technical partner Realco developed the SAFEXPERT® program.

The GEA SAFEXPERT® program consists of a curative and preventive treatment which helps to detect the presence of biofilm-forming bacteria and to manage the reoccurrence of biofilm in customers’ process plants, thus ensuring consistently high product quality, product safety, extended product shelf life and increased production uptime.

With the GEA SAFEXPERT® treatment, the production equipment is screened systematically for biofilm-forming bacteria, e.g. listeria monocytogenes, salmonella, bacillus cereus or pseudomonas aeruginosa. Contaminated lines are identified in just a few hours by using an UV lamp for fast detection of organic matter and next-generation ATP 2G analysis for bacteria verification. Affected lines are flushed with a patented enzymatic solution that cuts the biofilm open to expose the bacteria, followed by the removal of the contaminating bacteria with peracetic acid used as sterilant. After the treatment, the systems are inspected for enzymatic residues.

GEA SAFEXPERT® diagnostics ensures the removal of biofilm, thus improving the stability of the product and extending its shelf life. In addition, biofilm-free production requires less CIP, thus extending production time per line and per day. The higher nominal production capacity and the increased output resulting from the removal of biofilm-forming bacteria with GEA SAFEXPERT® provide a high return on investment. 

GEA offers a SAFEXPERT® Performance Contract for preventing biofilm growth so that customers no longer need to worry about biofilm contamination in their plants. The implementation of a tailored preventive program ensures a consistent biofilm-free process. As a consequence, plants and equipment run at optimum performance and improved uptime levels ensuring a longer shelf life and higher quality of the product. 

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