The first products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel available for the food industry

A project was launched two years ago to analyse Kiilto’s products for the food industry in the light of new Nordic Ecolabel criteria. Now, the product range includes three detergents, with which Kiilto helps its industrial customers to be even eco-friendlier.

Kimmo Nurmi, R&D manager at Kiilto, has every reason to be happy, as Kiilto is the first company in Finland to offer products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel for the food industry.

“The significance of environmentally friendly solutions has increased notably in products and services designed for industries during the past few years,” Nurmi says. “We are responding to this demand. Our key idea is that customers can select products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel for the entire washing process.”

For large applications

Nurmi says that all detergents that now received the Nordic Ecolabel are designed for large applications. Currently, three products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel are available for the food industry: strongly alkaline CIP detergent F 47 Tarmo, strongly acidic and methanesulfonic acid-containing detergent F 60 Ciro and F 24 Fabox for the mechanical or manual washing of transport crates, buggies and moulds.

“Currently, we are also developing an alkaline surface detergent bearing the Nordic Ecolabel,” Nurmi says.

“Innovation is what makes it so great to work as an R&D chemist. The range of our products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel will soon expand to cover other hygiene needs in industries,” Nurmi promises.

Strict criteria

Separate Nordic Ecolabel criteria have been set for every sector. While these emphasise different areas, they all still focus on eco-friendliness.

“Requirements for the effectiveness and hygiene level of detergents, as well as for their testing, are already defined in industrial criteria. Not just any product can be accepted for professional or industrial use. Products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel must have at least as good properties as any other products in the markets,” Nurmi clarifies.

Heidi Vaarala, technochemical specialist for the Nordic Ecolabel, says that industrial products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel cause the least strain on the environment. Impact assessments are based on lifecycles.

“When a product is in use, we check that the product is effective, it is easy to dose correctly and its use does not result in any unnecessary environmental loads,” Vaarala says.

The assessment also addresses the product lifecycle after its use.

“Strict requirements have also been set for substances used in products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel. For example, these products need to fulfil criteria associated with ecotoxicity, bioaccumulation and degradability. In addition, the Nordic Ecolabel sets requirements for compounds that are hazardous to health,” says Vaarala.

Leading the way in industrial development

However, detergents and chemicals are not the only areas where the environmental trend can be seen in the food industry. For example, many have already seen different plant-based products on shop shelves. Arton Ibrahimi, business development manager at Kiilto, says that Kiilto will also launch new products for hygiene in the production of oat-based products.

“Normally, detergents used in the food industry need to be particularly effective against grease and protein. Oat-based products contain starch, which demands different properties from detergents. Our products are always customised and optimised for every application. We want to lead the way in industrial development. To make this happen, we also need to develop new solutions,” Ibrahimi says.

New environmentally friendly solutions are also parts of Kiilto’s promise to the environment – its operating culture where the environment is taken into account in all activities. Kiilto wants to be the environmental leader in its field.

“Our products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel support our goals, both in terms of green material selections and services. We not only improve our own activities, but also help our customers to be more environmentally friendly,” Kimmo Nurmi says in conclusion.

Significance of eco-friendly products is increasing

The Nordic Ecolabel has for long indicated to consumers that a product fulfils strict environmental criteria. For example, construction bearing the Nordic Ecolabel has brought new perspectives to the use of the label. However, it is something new in the food industry. Nurmi says that this project was based on years of discussion over the necessity of environmental labels in the food industry.

Vaarala also believes that there may not have been sufficient demand earlier.

“Then again, an environmental label also sets challenges for R&D,” she points out.

Ibrahimi is happy with all the positive feedback the project has received.

“Environmental issues are also emphasised in industries. Customers have been enthusiastic about our products bearing the Nordic Ecolabel.”

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