Food manufacturing is one industry where the cleanliness of the environment is of the utmost importance. Whether we’re focusing on a bottling plant, a warehouse, or a general food production facility, protecting products that are being manufactured for consumption is critical. For a large-scale food production facility, contamination can spread throughout a batch of products, causing potential health risks to consumers and liability risks to the manufacturer.
One of the most important components of a clean food industry environment is an air purifier. However, a purification system for this purpose needs to be up to meeting the unique challenges presented by the food industry. It also needs to be able to treat a large area, as these facilities are typically massive in size. This means your run-of-the-mill home air purifier simply won’t cut it.
There are a couple of good options available for air purification in the food industry. First, let’s understand the typical contamination risk factors in the industry.
Different types of facility carry contamination risks in different locations and at different times in the production cycle. Here are a few of the most common.
For bottling plants, the biggest risk is for dust and other airborne particles to contaminate the product after the bottles have been filled and before the caps have been put on.
The biggest risks in food storage warehouses are to the raw materials. The finished product should be packaged and sealed before storage, but the raw food ingredients stored in warehouses are open to contamination. If any airborne bacteria or viral particles contaminate the raw ingredients, the entire production batch is at risk of cross-contamination.
In food production plants, risks for contamination are at their highest levels. Raw ingredients and finished products pre-packaging are both located here and exposed to the environment of the facility. An air purifier to remove harmful particles from the air is most critical in these plants.
While this isn’t specific to the food industry, it’s always crucial to consider the health and safety of employees, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means air purification for the food industry needs to provide a mechanism for protecting the health of the employees in addition to protecting food products from contamination.
It’s difficult to claim any system as the best, but there are a couple of good contenders. The first is the old-fashioned HEPA filter air purification system, and the other is an innovative new denaturation system.
Many food production plants rely on simple HVAC systems with HEPA filters. These systems are highly effective for removing airborne contaminants from the environment, with an effectiveness of over 99% for 0.3-micron particles. This is a highly efficient system, and it is great for removing particles that include dust, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and virtually any other type of airborne particle.
While these systems are effective, they can become costly over time, as it is recommended that the filters be changed every ninety days. In addition to the cost, handling the dirty filters can cause additional problems. Not only could the filter changing process result in particles being re-released into the air, but the individual changing the filter is exposed to any active viruses or bacteria trapped in the filter.
Despite these drawbacks, the HEPA-filtering HVAC system is still one of the most widely used air purification methods, and it is undeniably effective. However, there are other systems that not only remove particles from the air but also neutralize them.
The AirOclear Space is one of several innovative air purification systems from Dusmit. These products use a technology called denaturation. During this process, abrupt temperature and pressure increases are applied inside the system, which shocks airborne viruses (including coronavirus), bacteria, and other micro-organisms. This shock causes intra-molecular bonds to break and renders the particle completely neutralized. This patent-pending technology is the only one proven to result in 100% sterilization of the air.
The AirOclear Space is the Dusmit product most suitable for large food manufacturing facilities. The system can treat up to 10,700 square feet (1000 square meters), making it the ideal choice for large facilities.
The AirOclear Space has an optional filter, which is recommended for food production. Without the filter, particles are still neutralized by the air purifier, but adding the filter will help prevent dust and other larger particles from infiltrating the food production facility, bottling plant, or warehouse. The filter options range from MERV 8 rating to HEPA.
Benefits of the AirOclear space that make it ideal for the food manufacturing industry are that it:
While a HEPA HVAC system is highly effective at removing particles from the air, the Dusmit system takes the filtration process a critical step further. Even though you have a filter in the AirOclear Space, when this filter needs to be changed you’re assured that there is no hazardous material contained within the dirty filter to harm the changer or be re-released into the environment, as all viruses, bacteria, mold, and allergens have already been denatured.
In today’s market, the AirOclear Space is the best air purifier for the food industry as it protects food from contamination and also provides maximum protection to employees working within the facilities. The AirOclear Space can also be integrated into your existing HVAC system.
HEPA is Best When Paired with Other Purification Methods
The key takeaway here is that HEPA filters are highly effective at removing particles, but the hazardous particles are not necessarily neutralized. The ideal system is to combine a method of sterilization, such as Dusmit’s denaturation technology, with HEPA filters to catch large inorganic particles in addition to neutralized organic particles.