Technical Library

BIOSAFE® use in food contact applications. 

BIOSAFE®’s keystone product, HM4100 Antimicrobial, is registered for safe use in food-contact applications and complies with EPA and FDA, and is NSF 51 certified. BIOSAFE® HE4005 and HE4001 Antimicrobial products have also been approved for use as antimicrobial preservatives under U.S. EPA and FDA regulations to preserve articles including those in direct contact with finished food. BIOSAFE® renders materials inherently antimicrobial. The organosilicon technology is more cost-effective and faster acting than silver-based additives, avoids discoloration, and is non-leaching. HM4100 forms an interpenetrating network with the host polymer system. The HM4100 polymeric antimicrobial forms hydrogen bonds with the host polymer and becomes permanently entangled with the host such that the antimicrobial forms an interpenetrating network with the plastic resin or coating rendering the antimicrobial non-leaching. BIOSAFE® technology provides an environmentally sustainable means of rendering food-contact products bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and algistatic. BIOSAFE® addresses the growing demand among the food prep, food service, and consumer food and beverage markets for increased hygienic cleanliness of the surfaces the food it touching such as plastics, coatings, and activated carbon antimicrobial properties without migrating, BIOSAFE® eliminates the safety issues associated with leaching antimicrobials and does so while actually reducing the cost to protect finished goods. BIOSAFE® protected products contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals such as arsenic, or polychlorinated phenols. Toxicity tests have demonstrated that BIOSAFE® products do not cause irritation or sensitization with or on skin contact. BIOSAFE®’s chemistry has been reviewed and approved by FDA and EPA, and is registered with EPA as HM4100 Antimicrobial Reg. No. 83019-1.

The antimicrobial component of HM4100 kills microorganisms by effectively puncturing and rupturing the organisms’ cell wall. By comparison, conventional antimicrobials kill by leaching into the cell, where they are metabolized and interfere with critical life processes. This conventional mode of action has been shown to cause microorganisms to mutate and adapt, becoming resistant to the antimicrobial. BIOSAFE® products avoid this problem.

BIOSAFE® protects materials used in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications where microorganisms can cause staining, pitting, deterioration, or foul odors. BIOSAFE® solves microbial problems in these food contact end uses:

BIOSAFE® protects surfaces in kitchen and food prep environments either incorporated into the resin, a food contact laminate layer, or applied to the surface as part of a coating. BIOSAFE® may be used at a maximum use level of 1 weight percent of the resin, laminate, or coating.

The moisture and nutrients that can reside in beverage tubing are a prime place for microbes to flourish. This can lead to staining from mold, odors from bacteria, and bad tasting beverages. BIOSAFE® protects the tubing and extends its useful life, keeping it fresh and clean.

Bacteria growing in my water filter? – not something we thought too much about, until recently. Headlines on the evening news have brought attention to a growing issue. Products ranging from hand-held filter pitchers and faucet filters to in-line water treatment systems are evidence the publics growing concern. BIOSAFE® is added to coconut shell activated carbon for the drinking water filtration market. Please contact Gelest with more questions about bacteriostatic activated carbon.

BIOSAFE® HE4005 and HE4001 Antimicrobial products have been approved for use as antimicrobial preservatives under U.S. EPA and FDA regulations to preserve articles including those in direct contact with finished food. BIOSAFE® HE4005 and HE4001 are the only registered silane quaternary ammonium salt (silane quat) antimicrobials manufactured using a methanol-free process.

Like traditional quaternary ammonium salts (quats), silane quats are effective against an extensive variety of microorganisms by physically rupturing the microbe’s cell membrane and destroying the microbes on contact. Unlike traditional quats, silane quats can bind to a wide range of surfaces and therefore provide long-lasting protection against microorganism colonization.

There are several EPA-approved silane quat antimicrobial products in the market and all of them are manufactured from raw materials that contain methanol. As a result, the finished products can contain up to 0.5 parts of methanol for one part of silane quats. Suppliers are not required to report methanol levels on a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) if they fall below 1%.

BIOSAFE® Antimicrobial HE4005 and HE4001 are 5 wt% and 0.75 wt% active in water, respectively. BIOSAFE Antimicrobials are found in a wide range of EPA-approved applications including Careismatic Certainty® SmartBoost™ Laundry Additive for healthcare uniforms, and National Wiper Alliance Quat Keeper® Foodservice Towels for restaurants and cafeterias. BIOSAFE® Antimicrobials are used to preserve treated articles by preventing the growth of stain- and odor- causing bacteria, fungi, mold, and mildew.

Gelest, Inc. supplies antimicrobial products based on two awarded patents. The company’s core product is BIOSAFE® HM4100 antimicrobial polymer. This is available in the form of a powder for mixing, compounding, and dispersing; treating pigment and filler surfaces, rendering them antimicrobial; and incorporating in water or solvent solutions at various concentrations. These modified fillers can be formulated into a range of technology platforms such as thermoplastic and thermoset resins, water and solvent-based coatings, adhesives, or sealants. BIOSAFE® also assists customers in obtaining antimicrobial test results from third party labs.