How To Choose A Compressed Air System For Food Production

Posted on: 12 November 2014

People often think of an air compressor as something that's used in an automotive repair shop to quickly fill tires or clean off engines, but in truth a compressed air system can be used in a number of different industries including food production. Bakeries, beverage makers, and other food production facilities can find that a good compressed air system can help their facility in a number of ways, but they need to choose the right system and maintain it properly. Consider a few tips in this regard.

1. Know when to choose a contact air compressor system.

A contact air compressor system is one that is used so the compressed air comes into contact with food, and this system may need to be the most sensitive. As an example, bakeries often use a contact air compressor system to blow crumbs off of loaves of bread and other products as they make their way down the production line.

This type of air compressor system should typically run at 15 pounds of pressure per square inch, or PSI. This can be adjusted according to the product but when choosing this type of compressor system, be sure it can adjust to this low of a pressure so you don't damage your delicate foodstuffs.

2. Know when to choose a noncontact air compressor.

This type of air compressor is used when the air does not come into contact with the food and will need to be chosen according to its use. As an example, a bakery may use a noncontact air compressor to open plastic bags and keep them open so that loaves of bread can be easily inserted as they come down the production line. Other such packaging is also typically opened by noncontact air compressors during the last stage of production. Noncontact air compressors might also be used to rinse out mixers and other equipment after they've been washed.

The PSI available for these will vary according to the package or other use. These too may need a very low PSI if being used for delicate plastic packaging, but for rinsing, the highest PSI should be available in order to properly clean microscopic contaminants and ensure that mixers are dry and ready for use.

3. Know how to maintain your air compressor for the food industry.

For the food industry, air compressors need to be maintained with food-grade lubricants so that they too do not introduce contaminants into the foodstuffs. This is true even with noncontact air compressor systems, like those at Compressed Air Systems, as these work with products that will come into contact with the end product. When purchasing an air compressor system, ensure that you choose one that can be maintained with food-grade lubricants.