Project Case |Agrofood & Health |VC Chamco International
Biocides have been extensively used in the control of bacteria for decades, and are commonly incorporated into a variety of products including disinfectant formulations, cosmetics, preservatives, pesticides and antiseptics.
A biocide is defined in the European legislation as a chemical substance or microorganism intended to destroy, deter, render harmless, or exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism by chemical or biological means. However, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses a slightly different definition for biocides as “a diverse group of poisonous substances including preservatives, insecticides, disinfectants, and pesticides used for the control of organisms that are harmful to human or animal health or that cause damage to natural or manufactured products”.
The terms “biocides” and “pesticides” are regularly interchanged, and often confused with “plant protection products”. To clarify this, pesticides include both biocides and plant protection products, where the former regards substances for non-food and feed purposes, and the latter regards substances for food and feed purposes.
When discussing biocides a distinction should be made between the biocidal active substance and the biocidal product. The biocidal active substances are mostly chemical compounds, but can also be microorganisms (e.g. bacteria). Biocidal products contain one or more biocidal active substances and may contain other non-active
co-formulas that ensure the effectiveness as well as the desired pH, viscosity, colour, odour, etc. of the final product. Concerning commercial distribution, biocidal products are usually available on the market for use by professional and/or non-professional consumers.
Although most of the biocidal active substances have a relative high toxicity, there are also examples of active substances with low toxicity, such as CO2, which exhibit their biocidal activity only under certain specific conditions such as in closed systems.
Another example of biocidal products available to consumers are products impregnated with biocides (also called treated articles), such as clothes and wristbands impregnated with insecticides, socks impregnated with antibacterial substances etc.
Because of its positive properties, biocides are very commonly used in medicine, agriculture, forestry, and industry. Biocidal substances and products are also employed as anti-fouling agents or disinfectants under other circumstances: chlorine, for example, is used as a short-life biocide in industrial water treatment but as a
disinfectant in swimming pools. Many biocides are synthetic, but there are naturally occurring biocides classified as natural biocides, derived from, e.g., bacteria and plants.
However, the excessive use of biocides has considerable environmental and economic impacts, and the misuse of more aggressive biocides and increased doses (as a way to overcome the resistance phenomena) constitutes an extra risk to public health. These measures can lead to the selection of pathogens insusceptible to the main available antimicrobials. Antimicrobial resistance is even more significant when cells are embedded in a biofilm.
Therefore, novel biocides are required for effective disinfection. Since its foundation, Chamco Ireland blends and bottles biocides in various formats and concentrations, to retail outlets and food manufacturing industries within and outside the EU. In this project, the company, as a specialist in Anti Bacterial Cleaners & Food Safety with over 30 years experience in both food safety and chemical manufacturing, offers an end to end solution for manufacturers, retailers and individual clients.
Product developed in the project, ECDS (Ellimination of C. Difficile Spores), consists on a 100% natural cleaning solution, with active ingredients derived from young oranges.
This eco-friendly solution is 100% biodegradable and contains no Alcohol or Chlorine. The result is a tough cleanser, which is safe for Human Consumption and also for the environment, and is able to control main bacteria affecting humans, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Listeria, Campylobacter, Clostridium difficile, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Influenza A.
Chamco has developed therefore a natural biocide, in liquid and powder product formulation, for use in the destruction of pathogenic bacteria and fungi in the seafood and poultry industries, having received pesticide control approval for retail and industrial sales.
Concerning market target, the company had primarily focused its sales and marketing efforts on servicing the Food industry.
In this sense, participation in ACTTiVAte program has been decisively to re-launch business strategy, which has enabled the company to now positioning itself into the Healthcare market, diversifying its technology and marketing efforts in the understanding and belief that the basic natural biocide technology is adaptable and transferable to the Healthcare sector.
Hence, within this project Chamco has reformulated the base natural biocide, in an effort to make the biocide suitable for the destruction of the pathogenic bacteria and spores that inhabit foodstuffs and also human body parts, as hands, feet, etc, causing serious health and cost consequences to patients.
Additionally, Entrepreneurs’ team is leaded by Brendan Chambers and Noreen Vesey, qualified in Food Science and Marketing respectively and engaged for years at high levels, in all aspects, both technical and commercial, in the Agro-Food industry internationally.
Finally, this project is a clear example of innovation between two sectors (Agrofood and Healthcare), as well as an adaptation to an opportunity timing to fulfil a market necessity, characteristics that the ACTTiVAte acceleration program seek and support. For all this, next future looks like optimistic for the project.