Five steps in a common food, dairy and beverage CIP cycle

Every facility’s Clean-in-place (CIP) requirements are unique, but most CIP cycles include some of the same steps.

Cleaning in place (CIP) is a set of procedures used to properly clean processing equipment without removing piping or equipment. Every facility’s CIP requirements are unique. The elements, sequence, and duration of the process varies from system to system, but some common steps are included in most cycles.

Steps in a common CIP cycle:
1. Pre-rinse
2. Caustic Wash
3. Intermediate Rinse
4. Final Rinse
5. Sanitizing Rinse

Removes most remaining residue in product lines and dissolves sugars and partially melts fats.

Caustic wash.
Softens fats
The alkali used in caustic washes has a high pH concentration of 0.5-2.0%
Many times, the caustic wash can be returned to its tank and re-used multiple times.

Intermediate Rinse.
Flushes out traces of remaining detergent from caustic wash.

Final Rinse.
Flushes out residual cleaning agents.
Many times, final rinse water can be recovered and re-used as pre-rinse solution for the next cycle.

Sanitizing Rinse.
Helps kill microorganisms before next production run.

Since every cycle has its unique parameters, some facilities choose to do some or all of these optional steps.

Done before pre-rinse.
Pushes out residual product in lines with a projectile-type product recovery system.
Improves cleaning and saves product from going down the drain.

Acid Wash.
Can occur after intermediate rinse
Dissolves mineral scale from hard water deposits and protein residues.
Neutralizes system pH

Air Blow.
Removes remaining moisture in the line after final rinse using air blow check valves
CIP valves are recommended.

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