Food Industry and Clean Benches (Laminar Air Flow)

May 8th, 2014 by Acmas Leave a reply »

Main aim of all the food industries is to insure the safety of food that involves the careful control of process from the farm gate to the consumer. Safety includes control of both chemical and microbiological characteristics of the products. Most processing places emphasis on microbial control and often has its objective, the elimination of organisms or prevention of their growth.

Some of the aims of the food processing industry are

  • To make food safe ( microbiologically and chemically)
  • To provide products of highest quality ( flavor, color, texture)
  • To convert/make food into that forms that are convenient ( ease of use)

Items/points that should be controlled in food industry are

  • Microorganisms
  • Enzymes
  • Chemical reactions ( safety from a chemical viewpoint generally relates to keeping undesirable chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides and antibiotics our of the food supply)
  • Physical structure
  • Water activity

Clean bench/Laminar Air Flow is one of the major processes that are aimed at prevention of growth of microorganism. Laminar Air Flow/Clean Bench provides product protection by ensuring that the work in the bench is exposed to only HEPA filtered air. These are recommended for work with non hazardous materials where clean, particle-free air quality is required. Main aim is to keep the food product sterile and free of contamination.

Laminar Air Flow/Clean bench has its own filtered air supply, and are equipped with HEPA filters. HEPA filter removes particulates such as microorganisms, but it does not remove vapors/gases.

  • HEPA filters are made up of Boron Silicate Microfibers formed into a flat sheet by a process similar to making papers.
  • Flat filter sheets are pleated to increase the overall surface area.
  • Pleats are separated by aluminum baffles which direct the air flow through the filter.

Depending on its quality a HEPA filter can trap from 9,997 to 9,999 of every 10,000 particulates of a diameter greater than and less than 0.3 micron.

In the Baker (food) industry, HEPA filters used are leak free and rated at 99.99% performance level. But the Laminar Air Flow/Clean Bench does not provide protection to personnel or to the ambient environment and even it is not designed to contain aerosols generated by procedure; the user is exposed to these aerosols.


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