Researchers examined current chiller water disinfection management practices in an effort to define best management practices (BMPs) that enhance chiller efficiency as well as safety, quality, and yield. To begin, researchers reviewed the most common chiller designs and disinfection chemicals used in poultry processing plants. They found three major chiller designs (auger-93%, drag, and spin), three major chemicals used for disinfection (hypochlorous acid, peracetic acid, and monochloramine), and three major chemicals used to manage pH (carbon dioxide gas, citrus acid, and sulfuric acid).
Next, they conducted a chiller concentration change case study. A two-stage, counter-flow immersion chiller was periodically monitored for variations in pH, free chlorine, and total chlorine concentrations during the initial 2 hours of bird loading. The data indicated that the chiller reached a chemical steady state after 2 hours of operation. In addition, the chiller water was characterized for solids loading. The preliminary results indicated that the total suspended solids loading was mainly organic matter, while the inorganic solids loading was found to be near 45%. However, currently there are no reliable on-line sensors that measure solids buildup during chiller operation. Researchers believe more field data from different facilities using different chemical and operational procedures will be needed to gauge industry standards.
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