Swiss company Sanitized AG, which specialises in antimicrobial treatments for textiles and synthetic materials, has developed an odour management solution for functional polyester textiles.

Wash-resistant Sanitized Odoractiv 10 has a dual-action effect: on the one hand it prevents the bacteria from docking on the textile; and on the other, it adsorbs odours while the garment is being worn. The underlying technology that has been further developed was awarded the Swiss Technology Award.

The decision to develop this new solution, the company says, is based on the challenge manufacturers face when freshly washed garments develop an unpleasant odour, even after a short wearing period. The cause of this undesirable effect is not the human perspiration itself, but the bacteria that break down the perspiration. This process of decomposition generates the characteristic sweet, pungent smell. Once the bacteria, or the odour molecules, have penetrated into the surface of the polyester textile, they remain there permanently, with machine wash cycles and special detergents never completely eliminating them. The bacterial colonization produces a biofilm on the polyester, which not only causes unpleasant odours, but also has a negative impact on the properties of the material, the company explains.

With the new solution, Sanitized Odoractiv 10 is coated on the surface of the textile in the padding process, creating a protective film which the bacteria uses as the basis for latching onto the garment. The bacteria can therefore be completely washed out in a normal wash cycle, consequently preventing any biofilm from forming. An anti-adhesion test method was developed in cooperation with Swiss laboratory EMPA to prove this wash effect.

Sanitized Odoractiv 10 can be combined with other Sanitized products, in particular with products based on zinc pyrithione. The treatment does not influence the feel of the final treated textile.

The odour-reducing function is designed to last beyond 50 wash cycles, even if garments are washed at 30°C, either by hand or in the machine, meaning consumers save on water and energy, as well as keeping their clothing for longer.

As with all its other products, Sanitized does not use any nano technology. The Hohenstein Institute has awarded the company the rating Skin Friendly. The Bluesign registration, it says, is underway. The product also bears the label Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex.

"Sanitized Odoractiv 10 marks the end of permastink in polyester textiles," product manager Urs Zihlmann, explains. "The unique, dual Odor Control Function of Sanitized Odoractiv 10 enjoys a unique position in the market and it furthermore fulfils two market requirements: the prevention of permastink and the minimisation of odour intensity during wear. Almost all manufacturers of functional polyester textiles are confronted with this problem."

As with all other products, the service provided by Sanitized includes technological advice before and during production, in the definition of the verified efficacy and in the use of the Sanitized Ingredient Brand for promotional purposes.