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An ESG perspective on the use of Caustic Soda in food industry

Sodium hydroxide, commonly referred to as caustic soda, or “kostic” is a highly corrosive and versatile chemical substance that finds extensive use in a wide range of industrial applications. On the other hand, employing caustic soda in the food business presents serious Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues. We'll look at the arguments against caustic soda use in the food business in this post.

Environmental Impact:

Water pollution: Due to its high solubility in water, caustic soda can cause serious contamination if left unchecked. Aquatic ecosystems may suffer from contamination of water bodies due to careless disposal or unintentional spillage.

Energy Consumption: The energy-intensive procedures used in the manufacturing of caustic soda, like electrolysis, increase greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change.

Social Implications:

Worker Safety: Because caustic soda is corrosive, it can lead to serious burns and damage to the eyes. Workers in the food business are at serious danger from caustic soda exposure, especially those who perform cleaning and maintenance tasks.

Consumer Health: Food products may become contaminated by caustic soda residues if they are not completely washed. Caustic soda can cause burns, gastrointestinal problems, and even chemical poisoning when consumed or come into touch with it.

Governance implications:

Regulatory Compliance: Strict rules and regulations govern the use of caustic soda in the food business. Failure to comply may lead to legal ramifications, harm to a brand's reputation, and erosion of customer confidence.

Commitments to Sustainability: A large number of organisations involved in the food industry have committed to sustainability and ethical business practices in recent years. Caustic soda use runs counter to these objectives and can sabotage initiatives to support socially and environmentally conscious business practices.

A regular cleaning program, with a deep cleaning once every two weeks, is the best method to stick to the cleaning schedule and thus, fully prevent caustic soda usage in your cleaning routine. 

“When we have discipline in implementing SOPs, we don't need any other

magic - the magic is the discipline - Rachna Dave, Founder, MicroGO”

Maintaining standards across all fronts

At MicroGO, we are committed to upholding the highest standards of quality, health, safety, and environmental responsibility in our cleaning practices. By adopting an integrated approach, we aim to deliver exceptional results while safeguarding human health and preserving our planet for future generations. Transitioning away from caustic soda aligns with the industry's commitment to protecting the environment, prioritise worker safety, and delivering safe and healthy food products to consumers



  1. Is caustic soda safe for cleaning food processing equipment? Caustic soda can do the job, but we've got to handle it with care. Rinsing thoroughly ensures no chemical residues.

  2. What are some food-safe alternatives to caustic soda for cleaning? Well, there are many options! Think steam cleaning, hot water with a bit of detergent, or even gentle acidic cleaners like citric acid. They get the job done without the harshness of caustic soda. But, as mentioned before, discipline in the cleaning regime always gets the job done.

  3. Can caustic soda damage stainless steel equipment commonly used in food processing? Yes! Leave caustic soda on stainless steel too long, and you might see corrosion or discolouration. 

  4. Are there any regulations regarding the use of caustic soda in cleaning? Regulatory agencies often impose strict guidelines on the handling and disposal of caustic soda to prevent environmental contamination and ensure worker safety.


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