Ensystex has released Ecothor, a new, all-natural drain clearing product that uses an extract of the European olive tree to produce a proprietary active component.

Drain flies or the small filth flies are a serious pest often encountered by professional pest managers. Also known as moth flies, sink flies, filter flies and sewer gnats, these pesky insects thrive in unhealthy drains. They belong to the family Psychodinae, order Diptera. The larvae are highly resistant to boiling water and cleaning chemicals, including bleach, and it is almost impossible to reach the larvae with traditional pesticides as they thrive deep in the biofilm of drains. Given recent studies on fruit flies, Drosophila spp., it is also likely that they are capable of transferring Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Listeria to surfaces and relocating E.coli from a contaminated source to fresh, ready-to-eat food.1

Eggs are laid and the larvae thrive in the bio lm in drains and similar areas of food processing plants, kitchens and bars. This biofilm consists of a layer of microorganisms that forms on different surfaces immersed in fluid with a water to air interface. The biofilm structure is complex and consists of microorganisms living in an aggregate state and immersed in a matrix of a varied nature, made up mostly of polysaccharides and protein constituting a base of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS).

This is generally enriched with greasy and oily substances as well as other substances of various origins that find it an ideal substrate on which to accumulate. Inside this layer, the microorganisms implement the decomposition of organic substances such as food residues, dead skin, hair and other materials that can end up in urban sewage, leading to bad smells.

Steve Broadbent, regional director of Ensystex advises that the only solution for drain flies is to create a healthy drain by removing the biofilm, so the many associated problems disappear, including drain flies, bacteria, moulds and unhealthy smells.

“With increasing concerns over the use of harsh chemicals, which generally fail to resolve the problem anyway, Ensystex has developed a pure and natural solution for healthy drains, which removes the accumulated biofilms and their associated smells and drain fly infestations in an environmentally responsible manner. Ecothor Active Nature Turbo Active Natural Detergent for Drains cleans and sanitises due to the strong power of its all-natural ingredient,” explained Mr Broadbent.

“Turbo Active is an oil-gel natural product that has been subjected to rigorous scientific in vitro tests to confirm its effectiveness, ensuring the dynamic release of the active components for optimal bioavailability and stability.

“Best of all, it is a totally natural, plant-derived product. An extract of the European olive tree (Olea europaea) is used to produce our proprietary active component, Matrice UB, which is produced from the vegetation water coming from the grinding of the olives (less than 5%) together with maceration water from the olive leaves (the remaining 95%). Specifically, they undergo a decanting process and the formed deposit is separated from the supernatant, which becomes the Matrice UB. This is combined with two natural vegetable surfactants that have the function of degrading the fats that compose the obstructing mass, allowing the enzymatic lipases of the Matrice UB to enhance the degradation and solubilisation of the biofilm, which is consequently washed away. A eubiotic plant fragrance blend, that releases a long-lasting perfume, contributes to creating a healthy drain,” explained Mr Broadbent.

The natural plant extracts used are all cold extracted from the fresh plants, harvested in the ‘balsamic moment’, just as the flowers begin to open, which provides the purest extracts. Matrice UB production is subject to control and analysis by the Division of Chemistry and Microbiology of the Institute of Analysis and Research, Labor Chimica Srl, in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry of the University of Siena in Italy.

Bacterial species

Before treatment

After 15 days

Mesophyll bacterial charge at 30°C

980,000 CFU/cm2

400 CFU/cm2

Pseudomonas spp

17,000 CFU/cm2

18 CFU/cm2

Figure 1: Efficacy of Ecothor Active Nature Turbo Active Natural Detergent for Drains on heavy biofilms

Mr Broadbent added, “A study by the above institute confirmed the efficacy of Turbo Active on heavy biofilms (Figure 1, above). In further field trials with drains heavily colonised with biofilms and drain flies, after seven days the biofilm was removed, and the drain flies disappeared. The premises remained free of infestations thereafter.”

1 E. P. Black, G. J. Hinrichs, S. J. Barcay and D. B. Gardner. 2018. Fruit Flies as Potential Vectors of Foodborne Illness. Journal of Food Protection 81:3, 509-514.