Air receiver tanks play an essential role in the food and beverage industry as they help to maintain a safe and hygienic working environment.
These tanks are used to store compressed air that is used in various processes such as cleaning, bottling and packaging.
The compressed air helps to power the equipment that is used in these processes, and the receiver acts as a buffer between the compressor and the required applications. Ensuring there is always a consistent flow of compressed air available to ensure smooth and efficient operation at all times.
Stainless Steel Air Receivers
It is important to note that air receiver tanks being used within the food and beverage industry will be different from standard compressed air tanks. They will be made from materials such as stainless steel and need to be easily cleaned to prevent contamination of food products.
They will also require additional filters to meet strict air standards for food safety. ISO 8573-1:2010 lays out purity classes for compressed air based on the concentration of oil and water products in the final product. ISO has specifications for each type of contaminant as per below.
- A – Dry Particulate
- B – Liquid Water and Humidity
- C – Oil Concentration (aerosol, vapour and liquid)
Air is rated for a purity class for each contaminant type, in an [A]:[B]:[C] format. So, if the air is classified as purity class 1:2:1, that means that it meets Class 1 requirements for dry particulate and oil and Class 2 requirements for water. Class 0 compressed air is the cleanest available.
The SQF Code, from the Safe Quality Food Institute, provides the following advice for food and beverage manufacturers (from Food Safety Code for Manufacturing Edition 9):
- 220.127.116.11: Compressed air or other gasses (e.g., nitrogen, carbon dioxide) that contacts food or food contact surfaces shall be clean and present no risk to food safety.
- 18.104.22.168: Compressed air systems and systems used to store or dispense other gases used in the manufacturing process that come into contact with food or food contact surfaces shall be maintained and regularly monitored for quality and applicable food safety hazards.
In the absence of specific regulatory guidance, the onus is on food and beverage manufacturers to select the right air purity class for their application. This will depend on questions such as:
- Does the air come in direct contact with food or food packaging? Any processes where the air comes in direct contact with food or final packaging must meet the highest purity standards.
- How important is humidity control for the application? Dry processes (such as packaging crackers) will be less tolerant of moisture in compressed air than wet processes (such as mixing or packaging liquid milk).
The British Compressed Air Society has developed a guidance document for food and beverage manufacturers that lays out recommended purity classes for particulate, water and oil [A:B:C].
- For direct-contact applications, they recommend a purity class of 2:2:1 or better.
- For indirect-contact applications, they recommend a purity class of 2:4:2 or better.
Fluid-Air Components Ltd work with several food and beverage machine manufacturers and product producers within the food and beverage industry in the UK and knows exactly what is required to keep you running smoothly.
Get in touch today with one of our experts to discuss your requirements and how we can save you money in unnecessary maintenance and downtime on 01634 297298 or email us at email@example.com.