NEU Air Moving Technologies and its subsidiary DELTA NEU, the industrial filtration and air quality specialist, are launching their brand new decontamination approach combining traditional filtration and microbiology. The DELTACLEAN® HighCare air decontamination unit can be used to destroy residual airborne micro-organisms in workshops, especially in the food processing sector. This new technology was developed in partnership with the CNRS.
Increasing demands on the food-processing sector
The food processing industry is constantly challenged by health-related problems. This underlying trend is amplified by the fact that some manufacturers (although still a minority) are developing new organic or "clean label" products, which limit the use of preservatives or additives that protect the product. The sector is also facing tighter and tighter requirements by purchasers, who pass on the demands of the distribution sector to extend the "best-before" date of products. Currently, with a 70-day shelf life for a product kept at room temperature and not packaged in a modified atmosphere, there is a very high probability of risk. This requires the process, and therefore the product, to be protected using procedures and equipment that are becoming increasingly similar to those used in the pharmaceutical industry.
The risks of cross-contamination
The matter of air quality is particularly critical in the food processing industry, especially since certain production processes are themselves based on the use of micro-organisms. Beer and its yeast, cheese and its penicillium (amongst other things), and the products of enzymatic processes all need these so-called technological flora. The type of sterile environment applied to laboratories is not always appropriate for certain food sectors, where the protection of the product needs to be viewed as a strategy involving competing, or even cooperating, micro-organisms. Protection will involve reducing the 'bad' micro-organisms by aiming to avoid all contact with so-called "altering" flora (penicillium. cladosporium, etc.), which modify the characteristics of the product (flavour, odours, appearance, etc.), or with pathogens such as E-coli and Listeria monocytogenes.
Microbiology supporting airborne cross-contamination
Faced with heightened demand for healthier products, practices in the food processing sector are becoming increasingly similar to those in the pharmaceutical sector, with more cost-effective methods always being sought. Microbiology offers a new approach that complements the usual mechanisms.
That is why DELTA NEU has developed an innovative system: The DELTACLEAN® HighCare air decontamination unit. This unit provides an air decontamination level in accordance with the cleanliness class chosen by the manufacturer, which can extend as far as near-sterility using a smart combination of mechanical filtration (Very High Efficiency filtration) and the destruction of airborne micro-organisms (most notably: bacteria, viruses, yeast, and mould) by heterogeneous catalysis. This does not mean simply trapping, but destroying micro-organisms as they enter and leave the existing filtration system to supplement the treatment and achieve cleanliness classes that were previously available only in pharmaceutical laboratories. The idea is to organise the contact between the altering micro-organisms or pathogens and the catalysts. This contact triggers the oxidation of the micro-organism, leading to it being mineralised and gasified through the breakdown of its molecular structure.
The DELTACLEAN® HighCare system thus reduces cross-contamination, allows ULTRA CLEAN overpressure to be applied, reduces the use of preservatives, and extends the best-before and use-by dates.
It is especially suitable for controlled zones and atmospheres, such as unmoulding and cutting areas, ageing chambers, and packaging areas. For a superior result, the DELTACLEAN High Care unit is far more compact and less expensive than the usual systems.
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