Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 54

FOOD SAFETY
Up in the air
Though 'simple' in theory, execution of air systems can be 'complex.'
by Benton Smith | bsmith@sosland.com
W
hen dairy processors consider how the air in their
facilities impacts the safety of the products they
are making, they have much more to ponder than
just filters and flow.
In terms of basic principles, a facility always needs its
airflow to travel from its high hygiene areas to its lower
hygiene areas, said Tim Stubbs, the Innovation Center for US
Dairy's senior vice president of product research and food
safety. Transitions are a second significant factor, Stubbs said.
" The ingredients have got to get into the room or the
packaging materials have to get in the room, " he said. " So how
do you manage those transitions? How do you manage the
airflow in that transition, and the human flow and the material
flow and all that? "
More questions and details to contemplate exist around
every corner, or through every door. As Stubbs pointed out,
just opening a door to travel from one room in a facility to the
next changes the pressure differential between the two areas.
As an example of an even more sophisticated situation,
Stubbs rattled off concerns that may accompany a high
hygiene area, where air pressure is the highest.
" What happens when I turn on and off my dryer, which is
a giant air mover? Have I accounted for that? What happens if
there's a power interruption? There is actually a lot of thought
and a lot of design that goes into, which way does the air
flow? How do I maintain that? How big can a door be? How
long can that rolling door stay open and in what manner does
it open and close? And do I have controls in place to make
sure I don't have 12 of them open at once? "
As Stubbs explained, the design is " really simple " in terms
of a high-to-low flow, but " it's really,
really complex in execution. "
COMPLEX TRANSITIONS
Jeremy Travis, vice president of
quality and technical services for
Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., said
the sequencing is not always obvious.
Along with the air moving from highest
care to lowest care areas, Travis said air
in dairy processing facilities must flow
from dry rooms to wet rooms, as well,
because if that doesn't happen, " you're
guaranteed going to be contaminating
products somehow. "
What's more, he said improper air
flow could have detrimental effects
outside of the food safety realm.
" You're just attacking the shelf life
of the product, " Travis said of a misstep
54 JAN-FEB 2023 | DAIRYPROCESSING.COM
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Dairy Processing - January/February 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dairy Processing - January/February 2023

Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - Intro
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 1
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 2
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 3
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 4
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 5
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 6
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 7
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 8
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 9
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 10
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 11
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 12
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