AirROS vs HEPA Filters: What’s Best for Food Processing?
In the food processing industry, the quality of air purification systems is not just about compliance but also about ensuring the utmost safety and quality of food products. While HEPA filters have been a longstanding choice, their limitations are becoming more apparent, especially when compared to advanced systems like AirROS. This blog explores the differences between these two technologies, focusing on their effectiveness in handling airborne particles and mold spores and their impact on reducing cross-contamination in food processing environments.
The Limitations of HEPA Filters in Food Processing
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are renowned for their ability to collect particles, trapping 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter. However, their functionality stops at collection. HEPA filters do not have the capability to kill or neutralize the particles they trap, including mold spores. This limitation is significant in food processing, where the destruction of microbial contaminants is crucial to prevent spoilage and ensure food safety.
AirROS: A Comprehensive Solution
AirROS, on the other hand, offers a more dynamic approach. This innovative technology captures and actively kills and neutralizes mold spores and other microbial contaminants. This is a critical distinction, as it directly addresses the issue of cross-contamination at its source.
Phase 1- Primary Air Cleaning
Placed within your room’s airflow, air from the environment containing microorganisms enters the purifier’s internal chamber. The reaction chamber creates non-thermal plasma and generates ROS. ROS are comprised of 5 short-lived, highly Reactive Oxygen Species:
- Atomic oxygen O(3P)
- Singlet oxygen 1O2
- Hydroxyl radical .OH
- Superoxide O2-
- Peroxynitrite ONOO-
Above all, these break down carbon-to-carbon bonds that sanitize the air and destroy all bacteria, molds, viruses, and other pathogens as they pass through the reaction chamber.
Phase 2- Secondary Surface & Air Cleaning
After that, it provides Surface sanitation and continued Air sanitation. The purified air now diffused into the environment contains longer lived Reactive Oxygen Species:
- Gas-phased H2O2 (GpHP) or dry hydrogen peroxide
- Low concentration levels of O3 ozone
These combine and create Hydrogen Trioxide (H2O3) an Active Antimicrobial formed through the peroxone process. This H2O3 is very effective at sanitizing the surfaces and air 24/7.
Comparing the Technologies
The fundamental difference between HEPA filters and AirROS lies in their approach to handling contaminants. HEPA filters can capture but not kill, which means they can become a breeding ground for mold and other pathogens. AirROS, conversely, eliminates these contaminants, significantly reducing the risk of cross-contamination and enhancing the overall safety of the food processing environment.
The Impact on Food Safety and Quality
The ability of AirROS to actively kill and neutralize contaminants, including mold spores, directly translates to higher food safety standards. This technology ensures that both the air and surfaces in food processing facilities are not just free from contaminants but are also sanitized, offering a comprehensive solution to maintain the highest quality of food products.
Making the Right Choice for Your Facility
When choosing an air purification system for your food processing facility, it’s crucial to consider the system’s ability to capture and neutralize contaminants. While HEPA filters may be effective in trapping particles, AirROS provides a more robust solution by actively killing mold spores and reducing cross-contamination, ensuring a safer and cleaner food processing environment.
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