Air Conditioning & Chilling
Food processing companies bear great responsibility to the consumer. For this reason, especially strict hygienic regulations apply in this sector. Apart from hygienic airlocks, disinfection, and specialized clothing, a suitable air treatment system ensures clean and safe surroundings.
Always the right temperature
The cooling and air-conditioning of rooms is becoming more and more important. What is already taken for granted in cars, open-plan offices and banks – having pleasant temperatures even on the hottest days – is now becoming increasingly desired in production buildings as well.
Especially when working with raw meat and fish, it is important to guarantee the freshness and stability of these products.
Low microbe concentration – from dressing to sealing
Handling animal-based foods requires special caution with respect to spoilage and pathogens. For this reason, strict hygiene standards in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants play a decisive role. For example, GEA offers a system which avoids airborne contamination of the slaughtered carcass. The climatecontrolled plant monitors the temperature and moisture as well as the dust loads. It simultaneously creates a comfortable environment, without drafts, for the workers. An example of this kind of system is one we installed in a poultry operation production line for cutting and packaging chicken thighs.
The air conditioning plant is installed in the ceiling and consists of several mixing boxes which filter the entire air stream. Air distribution takes place in the cavity between the ceiling and the points of distribution. According to the principle of low turbulence (laminar flow), the air flows from top to bottom in the cutting and packaging area. This reduces particle concentration in the air and on the sensitive products. The air is input again, in turbulent flow, near the floor and ceiling, and is subsequently filtered in the circulating air unit. It is then re-introduced into the room. This recirculated air operation considerably contributes to energy-saving.
Cleanroom quality, thanks to laminar flow, ensures ISO class 4 in the immediate proximity of the products, and class 7 in the entire room. In addition, overpressure prevails in the room, in order to prevent the intrusion of non-filtered air into the production area. The system also provides for control of the dew-point temperature, to avoid condensation on the product surface.
The process of cutting and packaging chicken pieces permits absolutely no compromises in matters of hygiene. The same is of course also true during the freezing process of meat pieces, which often takes place in spiral freezers. Equipment from GEA is extremely easy to maintain: the entire housing is made of stainless steel for the benefit of hygienic operation. Moreover, GEA engineers place great value on smooth and easy-to-clean surfaces so that microbes cannot collect in corners.