Keeping the air clean is important in dairy production, as impurities pose risks. Processes vulnerable to risks are protected by ensuring that the air in the processing facilities has been treated by using air filtration equipment that meets the strict requirements for air filters in the food industry. The equipment must be tested and certified, which reduces the risk of food contamination, as well as ensuring that the statutory requirements are met.
Impact of indoor air quality on the preservability of dairy products
Contaminants, such as various types of yeast and mould that spread through the air, significantly compromise the preservability of milk, milk powder, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter and other dairy products. The cleanliness of processing is particularly important in the production of infant formula, as newborn babies’ bodies are highly sensitive.
The size of the contaminants and particles to be removed from the air makes air purification difficult. The average size of particles is around 0.6 micrometres. Clean production equipment alone is not enough, because air conditioning also brings contaminated air into the production facilities. This contaminated air contains a large amount of microbes, which may come into contact with the food products that are being processed. Therefore, all of the components used in the process must meet the product safety requirements, in addition to being easy to clean.
Sources of contaminants in dairy production
- E. coli
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
- Product ingredients that may cause cross-contamination
- Microbes carried by people
Protection for food products and employees through air filtration
In food production, the regulations and requirements concerning dairy products and their safety are extremely strict. Air quality, circulation speed, temperature and humidity levels must be monitored closely in clean rooms and filling facilities to eliminate the risk of contamination.
Quality must never be compromised in dairy production. Effective high-quality filters must be used during all work phases: in fluidised bed drying, ripening, slicing, packaging and aseptic packaging.
Appropriate air filtration prevents food product contamination and recalls, in addition to ensuring that consumers’ health is not jeopardised. Equipment that has not been tested or certified may cause losses to companies, in terms of both money and reputation. In other words, companies must not cut corners on buying equipment.
Air quality solutions for the needs of the dairy industry
Facilities not used for production, such as office and dispatch facilities, may be equipped with devices that meet the requirements of the EN 16798 standard.* These protect the users of the facilities.
In environments that are highly sensitive to contaminants, the equipment must be protected from contamination before the products to be processed are brought into the facility. This means high volume and pressure in terms of air flow. Such environments include drying rooms and processing and packaging facilities for ready-to-use food products, cream, condensed milk, yogurt, cheese and frozen desserts.
Storage facilities for ingredients must be kept clean, and the ingredients must be protected from contamination. Such environments include milk reception and packaging facilities, as well as facilities for processing raw ingredients.
In high-hygiene facilities for the final processing and packaging of products, the air quality needs to be as high as possible. These include facilities for the aseptic packaging of milk powder and facilities used for similar operations.