Antimicrobial protection

When developing the latest GSM 5 vegetable cutting machine, the Brunner-Anliker researchers achieved something sensational – the cutting discs have an antimicrobial effect.

Our legendary vegetable cutting machines have been produced since 1965. On the latest model, various parts are manufactured from high-precision cast stainless steel for hygiene reasons. This material enables perfect cleaning in the dishwasher for the very first time. In contrast, conventional cast aluminium machine parts oxidise in the dishwasher, become porous and turn black.

High-performance material against bacteria
The GSM 5 is the world’s first appliance to use cutting discs made from glas fibre composite. This high-performance material is used in the aerospace industry. Its mechanical properties are significantly better than those seen in aluminium. Over half of the new material is comprised of pure glass. The researchers at Brunner-Anliker have been able to incorporate antimicrobial protection in the substrate material (also known as the matrix). Laboratory tests have proven that the cutting discs inactivate bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella choleraesuis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within 24 hours. A global patent has already been registered.

The antimicrobial protection is based on silver, the antimicrobial effects of which have been known for some time. Among other applications, it is used for the disinfection of potable water or as a disinfecting agent in ointments. While kings ate and drank from silver tableware over 3000 years ago as a sign of power and dignity, this was not the only reason. The precious metal also protected the fine ladies and gentlemen from infections, as silver has an antimicrobial effect. Our great-grandmothers also knew the importance of silver in the household. They placed a silver coin in the milk churn so that the milk would keep for longer. However, with the development of antibiotics the old home remedy was forgotten about. For around 50 years, antibiotics have been used as virtually the sole method of fighting pathogenic germs and bacteria. Despite this, some micro-organisms have become resistant to antibiotics, meaning they are no longer effective. In medicine, silver has been integrated in the surface finish of surgical components for a long time. When tweezers, catheters or implants are coated with minute silver particles, bacteria and mould have virtually no chance of survival. The fine silver particles are created via flame synthesis. In this process, the silver is dissolved in a flammable solvent and burned in a controlled process. The desired particle size is achieved through the flame properties, such as temperature and speed. Our cutting discs incorporate these particles in their matrix and thus achieve the desired antimicrobial effect.