From additive manufacturing to product integration: Maintaining the quality of BioCote® antimicrobial additives
At BioCote®, our partners and clients have come to rely on the high quality and performance of our additives to deliver the best antimicrobial product protection to market. Whilst you cannot smell, see or touch BioCote® antimicrobial technology, once it is integrated into a product or material, there are ways to verify its presence and efficacy in treated materials. BioCote® does this by implementing strict quality control measures for all of our additives.
Where our quality control procedures begin
It all starts with our stringent specifications for the active substances in BioCote® additives. Various methods are used to verify the conformity within our specified criteria during the manufacturing process of our products. The additives are subjected to chemical analysis at an external UKAS registered atomic emission spectroscopy laboratory, before being made available for sale to ensure that the active ingredient content fulfils our criteria. To confirm that the additives have met all required criteria and contain the correct amount of active substance, they are accompanied by a Certificate of Analysis.
Tracing it back to the batch
Each batch of additive is given a unique code with a Certificate of Analysis recorded against that batch. This batch number is documented on every invoice for every customer receiving additives from BioCote®. Every time we ship additive to a customer, that additive is physically checked by a trained member of our operations team, and the consignment is given a Certificate of Conformity. This document confirms that the physical state of that batch meets our standards of quality. The Certificate of Conformity also contains the batch number, so that it can be traced back to the Certificate of Analysis for that batch.
When we request production samples from our clients, part of the information we require is the batch code for the additive used to produce these samples. This means that if a customer sample fails to demonstrate the expected level of antimicrobial efficacy as required by BioCote® (>95%), we instantly have a high level of visibility thanks to the in-depth data recorded against that batch code.
Setting our own quality standards
Additives are delivered in a form that is most suitable with the client’s substrates and manufacturing process, whether that be masterbatch, liquid suspension or powder additives. We support our clients by providing expert guidance on addition rates and processes to ensure homogenous additive integration throughout manufacture, which will result in optimal efficacy of antimicrobial properties in the end product. We work directly with the manufacturing teams of our customers to ensure that product integration is smooth and successful to guarantee the antimicrobial performance of the product.
To confirm the efficacy of additives in client products, samples of BioCote® protected materials are returned by the client to BioCote® for validation testing by an independent laboratory. This entails determining antimicrobial performance in a microbiological laboratory using the relevant international test method, or determining active ingredient concentration in an independent, recognised atomic emission spectroscopy facility.
In order to pass our BioCote® antimicrobial performance criteria and ensure high efficacy, tested products must be scientifically validated to have reached a minimum of 95% reduction of microbes. We are the only antimicrobial technology provider to set our own performance criteria, ensuring that the treated end products meet our high quality standards. By doing so, we aim to give our partners and their customers peace of mind in knowing that BioCote® treated products are continuing to deliver premium performance. After the product is found to be compliant with our quality standard via testing, the client receives a certificate relevant to the test method used, e.g. a Certificate of Antibacterial Analysis.
Keeping it regular
A customer’s BioCote® protected product can be released to the market after the customer received their satisfactory validation test data. Any antimicrobial claims about treated products may be securely confirmed using suitably acquired data in the form of test certificates.
At BioCote®, we understand the importance of having reliable and tangible data to support claims made in the market. We recognize that our brand identity and reputation is underpinned by the continued performance of our additives in customer products, which in turn protects the reputation of those customers. This is why we are the only antimicrobial solutions provider to contractually obligate our customers to regularly quality control the antimicrobial performance of their products. We realise that in real life, operational challenges exist in manufacturing that can affect performance, and these can only be addressed quickly if they are identified early. Our team actively supports our customers’ manufacturers to maintain the high antimicrobial performance levels that are associated with the BioCote® brand and therefore protecting the interests of our customers around the world.
Strict quality control methods recognised by HACCP
The high value that we place on the quality control process of our additives and customer products is the reason why BioCote® is the first antimicrobial solutions provider in the world to be accredited by HACCP International, a risk management organisation that operates a world-renowned product certification scheme, confirming a product’s suitability for use within the food industry.
BioCote® has earned its HACCP accreditation through an independent audit and verification of our strict quality control methods – from the time additives are manufactured to the ongoing integration of our additives into partner products and subsequent efficacy testing. Our quality control methods and antimicrobial additives have been formally confirmed as ‘fit for purpose’ and benchmarked as acceptable for use in hygiene sensitive areas by satisfying HACCP requirements.
Haven’t tested your treated products in a while?
No problem, simply reach out to our Partner Development Team on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any testing needs you may have.
*This content piece discusses topics relating to BioCote® technology and does not apply to treated articles. If you would like to discuss the above topic within your own marketing collateral in relation to your treated product, please reach out to your dedicated BioCote® Account Manager for support.