Compressed air is a critical utility widely used throughout the food industry. Being aware of the composition of compressed air used in your plant is key to avoiding product contamination. Your task is to assess the activities and operations that can harm a product, the extent to which a product can be harmed, and how likely it is that product harm will occur. Assessing product contamination is a multi-step process in which you must identify the important risks, prioritise them for management, and take reasonable steps to remove or reduce the chance of harm to the product, and, in particular, serious harm to the consumer.
CPS will undertake a comprehensive air sample test onsite testing:
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon Dioxide (CO₂)
If the levels meet the Australian Standards, we then issue a certificate of compliance which indicates air quality is to AS1715:2009.
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Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.
Compressed air is filled with particles, aerosols, and water/oil vapor that can contaminate the compressed air, causing potential harm to its end users or application. Inline filters are integral to a compressed air system, helping trap dirt, particles and other impurities that could contaminate the compressed air. Essentially, they work to remove contaminants from the compressed air after compression has occurred. The type of filter required depends on the air quality of your application needs, but can include:
These remove dry, solid particles of all sizes from the compressed air. The finer the particulate size, measured in microns, the higher the cost associated with removing them due to filter element life and system pressure drop. ISO 8573-1:2010 can be used to specify the level of solid particles removal needed.
These filters bring small droplets of liquid together in order to form large droplets, which then fall from the filter into a moisture trap as they increase in size. This results in a cleaner and dryer compressed air stream. While used for collecting water, coalescing filters are not the best for trapping water vapour.
These filters employ an absorption process in order to capture the gaseous contaminants that pass through a coalescing filter. By utilizing activated carbon granules, carbon cloth or paper filters, vapor filters can capture and remove the gaseous contaminants. Activated charcoal is the most common filter media because it has a large open pore structure.
AS/NZS 1715:2009 Appendix A and International Breathing Air Standards BS EN 12021. REQUIREMENTS FOR AIR QUALITY (COMPRESSORS OR CYLINDERS) FOR SUPPLIED AIR STATES:
Compressed gas for breathing shall not contain contaminants at a concentration which can cause toxic or harmful effects. In any event, all contaminants shall be kept to as low a level as possible.
There is no set period to change the inline filters but there is limits to the usage. Each application is different and components used such as type of compressor needs to be considered. Warmer conditions will reduce life of filters and reduce the efficiency. The standard required for change out to be reduced to ensure all contaminants are as low as possible.
In any case the manufacturer of approved filters for use in Australia meeting ISO 8573-1:2010 & AS1715:2009 STATES: Regardless of run hours, conditions or usage inline filters must be changed every 12-months (or sooner as required).
Full details of the standard can be found here (note this document cannot be published as it is licensed): AS1715:2009 Download
Compressed Air quality testing is there to protect your product, reputation and your employees.
In many industries compressed air is used for applications in critical areas and is required to meet strict standards. Compressed Air Purity International Standard (ISO8573-1:2010) ensures that the compressed air is free from solid particles, water and oil contaminants.
Compressed breathing air is used to protect workers from air borne contaminants including moisture, carbon monoxide and oil and oil vapours. In industries such as food production compressed air quality it critical to maintain quality and standards. Compressed air must conform to Australian Standards AS1715:2009.
Such industries include:
Sandblasting, Welding and Powder Coating
Mining, underground & confined spaces.
Annual compressed breathing air testing is necessary to ensure that it meets the Australian standard (AS1715:2009), in some states an annual inspection is a requirement of Worksafe. The filters used in the breathing air system must be regularly checked and maintained in good operating conditions. They should be changed every 6 months or 1 year without exception (depending on usage). Certain conditions may require a more frequent interval change - if you have any concerns about your breathing air filtration please ask us - we are here to help!
Food grade air or clean process air in the food industry is integral to Quality Assurance and Quality Control and it should always be considered a Critical Control Point (CCP) if used in your food manufacturing process. Many industry standards and schemes regarding Quality Control in food and beverage refer to the Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan as an integral part of their directives.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is just one of many groups that recognize HACCP as a valuable Quality Control plan. In that vein, four major governing organisations have specifically identified compressed air as a Pre-Requisite Program (PRP) or Critical Control Point (CCP), that needs monitoring.
They are International Standardization for Organization (ISO), the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), the British Retail Consortium (BRC), and the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF). In addition the Canadian Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP) has identified compressed air and gas used in processing and packaging as a potential source of contamination. Typically in Australia we follow the BCAS standard.
Contamination in process air like particles, water, oil or microbial contaminants can have devastating results on a final product, potentially leading to recalls, down manufacturing time or worse.
Assuring food safety and quality is essential for the viability of any food manufacturer.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was established to improve consumer trust by improving food safety through corporate responsibility and safer food supply chains.
The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) Food and Beverage Grade Compressed Air Best Practice Guideline 102 is an excellent reference for the food manufacturer and its suppliers. The BCAS Best Practice Guideline identifies the four primary areas of potential contamination in compressed air – Particles, Water, Oil, and Microbiological Contaminants. Section 7 of the Guideline states that compressed air coming in Direct Contact with food shall meet ISO 8573-1:2010 Purity Class 2:2:1; Indirect Contact 2:4:2. See Table below for limits.
A Requirement - Air Quality testing food industry
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