Market Insights

Basel, 27 August 2021

Lactics in Agriculture

Our lactic acid and lactates are well established ingredients in food applications to ensure food safety and to prolong shelf life. In non-food applications, especially in home care and personal care, lactic acid and lactates are valuable multifunctional ingredients with disinfecting, descaling, exfoliating and moisturising properties.
Agriculture, a huge and diversified market segment, factors into both application areas and is a field we also serve with our lactics portfolio.

As a fermentation-derived and readily biodegradable product, lactic acid meets market and consumer demands for green, gentle yet effective solutions, a trend that ultimately influences the agricultural business. As a liquid, it is easy to handle and to dose for the below described applications, which are typically liquid.

Lactic acid for produce wash

Washing fruits and vegetables with sanitised water before consumption is one efficient way to prevent dangerous pathogenic contaminations and to remove dirt and pesticide residues from the surface. In industrial scale produce wash, sanitisation of wash water also allows for safe recirculation of the wash water by avoiding cross-contamination. Lactic acid is an effective alternative to chlorine based solutions, it enhances food safety, extends shelf life and prevents cross-contamination whilst maintaining the original produce sensory and quality. 

For more information and experimental data, please see our 2-pager that focuses on fresh cut salad wash.

Lactic acid for carcass wash

Another source of possible bacterial foodborne illnesses is meat and poultry. The process of slaughtering includes several steps, which bear the risk of microbial contamination and cross-contamination. Washing the animal carcasses with lactic acid is one established way to reduce the pathogenic load and to ensure food safety. A combination of different methods is recommended, e.g. the combination of warm water wash and lactic acid rinse. Lactic acid is a highly efficient biocide, safe in handling and naturally present in meat.

Lactic acid for teat disinfection

Udder hygiene is essential for dairy cows to ensure animal welfare by avoiding teat infections, especially mastitis, and by supporting skin integrity and to ensure milk quality by preventing contamination. Lactic acid fulfils this multifunctional request: it is an efficient active disinfecting substance and exerts skin conditioning properties, including moisturising and exfoliation. Compared to other active substances in use, such as iodine and hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid is the most sustainable, least hazardous biocidal substance.

Lactic acid for soil remediation

Soil remediation aims to clean-up contaminated sites and to restore the soil to its natural, pollution-free state. One established in-situ method is bioremediation, where naturally occurring microorganisms are used to degrade organic contaminants into less, or non-toxic substances by using them as an energy source via redox reaction. Here, lactic acid can act as electron donor whereby the contaminant acts as electron acceptor. Lactic acid shows high efficiency, good distribution in soil and easy pumping due to its low viscosity.

For more information on the multifunctional properties of our lactic acid and lactates- be it for disinfection, moisturising, descaling, exfoliation, shelf life extension or soil decontamination- or on the regulatory situation in different application fields, please consult services/requests or get in contact with your local sales manager.