Increasing enzyme dosage without compromising safety

The quest for greater performance

Very often when customers talk about increasing detergent performance with enzymes, there is an underlying concern about safety. However, by working closely with application safety colleagues to target high performance, it is often possible to achieve the required levels of efficacy without compromising safety – as our work with one US medical customer recently showed.

John Howell, Novozymes Staff Scientist explains, “The customer wanted to increase enzyme dosage so that their detergent could give them the high performance they needed for medical cleaning without compromising user safety. However, Novozymes safety guidelines limit us to a maximum dose of enzyme. Even though we know that increased dosing gives greater performance, we always have to consider safety of the end-user.”

The development team turned to application safety colleagues to evaluate the options available. Together they looked at all aspects of the new detergent and the guidelines on enzyme dosing. This revealed that enzyme dosage levels, specifically proteases, had been set with regard to skin contact concerns and not for inhalation limitations.

While both parameters are highly relevant in a consumer setting, in a medical setting the detergent would only be used by someone required to wear protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, long sleeves, and eye protection. In other words, a person’s skin would never come into contact with the detergent and the only hazard that needed to be considered was inhalation.

Finding safe solutions

Finding safe solutions

As higher levels of enzymes were evaluated to show safety during use, the team had the opportunity they needed to increase enzyme inclusion for the new detergent. The resulting formulation now allows the customer to enjoy high efficacy levels required for medical cleaning while still providing confidence for employee safety.

It has also led to Novozymes revising internal guidelines on enzyme dosing levels in medical cleaning. The guidelines now more clearly reflect how the detergents are used and the requirement that protective equipment is always worn by reprocessing technicians as an industry standard. “Safety is of the utmost importance for all aspects of our work at Novozymes and we will never recommend enzyme dosage levels without a solid base of evidence. In this case, we were able to increase limits of enzyme dosing in the new detergent because of industry standards for the way it is used.”

Let us help you with your cleaning challenges

Novozymes’ takes product safety seriously and always strives to ensure end user safety for all products using our technology. Partner with Novozymes to discuss your challenges and let us help you develop the high-performing detergent you need.