Why Traditional HEPA Filters Fall Short in Food Processing

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters have long been considered a gold standard for air filtration in various industries. While they excel at trapping microscopic particles, including many bacteria and viruses, they may not be the best choice for food processing environments. This article aims to delve into why HEPA filters might fall short in meeting the unique challenges posed by these settings, and introduce a more comprehensive solution: The AirROS Surface & Air Purification system.

Limitations of HEPA Filters in Food Processing

Incomplete Microbial Elimination

HEPA filters are excellent at trapping particles larger than 0.3 microns but do little to actively eliminate microorganisms. The filters can often become breeding grounds for bacteria and molds, potentially leading to a higher microbial load over time.

Risk of Cross-Contamination and Recalls

HEPA filters do not prevent cross-contamination, which is a significant concern in food processing environments. When airborne pathogens aren’t effectively destroyed, there is a risk of them settling onto different food items, which can result in recalls that are not only costly but also damaging to a brand’s reputation.

No Surface Sanitation

While HEPA filters may clean the air passing through them, they have no capability to sanitize surfaces in the processing area. Pathogens can easily settle on workstations, tools, and even the food products themselves.

Limited Chemical and Odor Neutralization

HEPA filters are designed to capture particles, not neutralize odors or chemicals. Many food processing facilities require a comprehensive air purification system that can handle chemical fumes and strong odors, something that a HEPA filter is not capable of.

Maintenance and Operational Costs

HEPA filters need regular replacement and maintenance, making them a significant operational expense. Moreover, their effectiveness diminishes over time, demanding frequent checks to maintain air quality standards.

common microbes in food processing

Why AirROS is a Better Alternative

Phase 1 – Primary Air Cleaning

AirROS utilizes a High Voltage Controlled Pulse (HVCP) reaction chamber that generates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which include highly reactive agents:

  • atomic oxygen
  • singlet oxygen
  • hydroxyl radical
  • superoxide
  • peroxynitrite

These agents break down the cell walls of microbes, effectively destroying molds, viruses, and other pathogens.

Phase 2 – Secondary Surface & Air Cleaning

The system releases longer-lived ROS:

  • Gas-phase dry hydrogen peroxide
  • Low concentration levels of ozone (30 ppb) into the environment.

These agents sanitize not just the air but also all surfaces, providing a comprehensive sanitation solution.

24/7 Effectiveness

AirROS offers around-the-clock air and surface sanitation, keeping your food processing facility safe and compliant with regulations at all times.

Built for Longevity

While AirROS may require maintenance, the system is built for longevity, providing a durable and long-lasting solution to air and surface sanitation needs.

While HEPA filters have their merits, they are not necessarily the most effective or efficient option for food processing environments. They fail to prevent cross-contamination, leading to potential recalls, and also fall short in offering a comprehensive air and surface sanitation solution. The AirROS Surface & Air Purification system offers a more effective alternative, designed to actively destroy pathogens and sanitize both air and surfaces, providing a safer environment for food processing facilities. If you’re ready to upgrade your food processing facility’s air and surface sanitation beyond the limitations of HEPA filters, contact us today to learn how AirROS can provide a safer, more effective, and long-lasting solution for your specific needs.

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