Antimicrobial Technology Platforms for Protection
Because of the presence of microbes such as bacteria and fungi in all walks of human life, there is a constant interaction between microbes and humans. Microbes are important to the production of many human foods, such as beer, wine, cheese and yogurt; the development of medical treatments, such as antibiotics and vaccines; and the processing of our industrial waste, for example in wastewater treatment facilities. Conversely, microbes can also be fierce antagonists responsible for diseases, allergies, malodor, staining and food spoilage. Humankind has therefore throughout history gradually built up potent antimicrobial technology to combat microbes.
Such technology includes basic but very effective measures: refrigeration of food (to avoid microbial growth during storage), cooking of food (to kill potential food poisoning organisms), hand washing (to avoid transmitting disease-causing bacteria from one person to another), ventilation and heating (to reduce humidity and other conditions favorable to microbial growth), and so on. However, such measures are not always sufficient to keep microbes away. You can adhere to good cleaning practices and still experience mold growth on the ceiling, and you can follow good hygiene practices and nurture your immune system and still pick up an infection.
LIFE antimicrobial technology has been developed to serve as a second line of defense against microbes. Not as a replacement for good domestic and industrial hygiene and cleaning practices, but as an added level of protection. LIFE‘s antimicrobial technology is built around incorporating antibacterial, antifungal and antialgal ingredients into solid materials such as plastics, coatings, ceramics, paper, and textiles, to make products made from such materials stop the growth of and kill microbes for the lifetime of the products. Using such materials, manufacturers are making carpets that will not smell moldy, refrigerator bins that resist the presence of bacteria, drinking water tanks that actively fight the formation of biofilm, and grout that will not let fungus spoil the look of a new bathroom floor.
LIFE antimicrobial technology incorporates active ingredients into the material during the manufacturing stage. Consequently, the active ingredients are always embedded into the product and continuously kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms that come in contact with the surface of the material. Even if there are external wear and tear on the product, LIFE antimicrobial technology is designed to resist abrasion, washing, and exposure to UV radiation and various chemicals. The antimicrobial effect is long lasting and will typically last for the lifetime of the finished product.
The active ingredients used in LIFE antimicrobial technology are registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the EU’s Biocidal Products Directive and other key regulatory authorities around the world. For applications with expected food and drinking water contact, LIFE offers additives in compliance with regulations set forth by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Agency.
LIFE’s technology uses both organic and inorganic active ingredients, which act in quite different ways.
LIFE‘s inorganic antimicrobial technology is incorporated into a product at the time of manufacture. Positively charged ions supplied by the inorganic ingredient concentrate on the surface of the product, giving the product its antimicrobial protection.
When microbes come into contact with a surface containing one of LIFE’s inorganic antimicrobial technology platform ingredients; the positively charged ions bind with the microbes and cause their enzymes to break down. The enzymes are then unable to produce energy, which renders the microbes unable to reproduce and they eventually die out.
LIFE’s organic antimicrobials have a disruptive effect on the membrane of the cell. This results in interference with the uptake of nutrients through the membrane and also prevents cell division.