Most people have heard the term “cleanroom.” But not everyone knows what it means. Cleanrooms have been long used in the food industry. Many businesses use it across different applications, from preventing food contamination to manufacturing packaging supplies.
If you’re considering using a cleanroom for any of these reasons or any other purpose within the food industry, here’s what you should know about their use:
What Are Cleanrooms?
A cleanroom is a controlled environment. It is an enclosed area that’s free from contaminants and allergens. These rooms are used for various purposes, including manufacturing products, testing food and medicine, studying microbes in space and on other planets, and more.
A cleanroom contains specialized equipment to provide a specified level of cleanliness within the space. Cleanrooms are generally classified according to their ability to remove particles by size or type, with classifications including ISO 5, ISO 8, or above.
The use of cleanrooms in food, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and other industries is growing exponentially. According to a market analysis by Allied Market Research, the global cleanrooms market is expected to grow from $3.688 billion in 2020 to $6.658 billion in 2030. This is a 5.4% CAGR over the forecast period.
Cleanrooms Can Help Prevent Food Contamination
Food safety and quality are essential to any food manufacturer. This is not only for the sake of business or revenue. Ensuring food quality is also vital to preventing harm to the consumer. According to the WHO, around 600 million people worldwide fall ill after consuming contaminated food annually. Of these, 420,000 die due to food contamination.
Cleanrooms help prevent cross-contamination from one product or process to another, which means less chance of contamination in your products. This also reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses because all supplies and equipment that come into contact with your product will be clean and free from germs.
Cleanrooms can help maintain good housekeeping practices, which is critical for keeping bacteria at bay. A cleanroom reduces dust, dirt, airborne particles, and other contaminants that may cause spoilage or spoilage by microorganisms such as bacteria or mold. Keeping these things out helps keep food safe while it’s being processed in the facility where it’s made and when you bring it home.
You cannot completely keep food contamination at bay. Studies suggest that some food contamination starts in the soil itself. However, this contamination is not as harmful as other types that occur during food processing.
Cleanrooms Can Help Improve Food Products Quality
Cleanrooms can help improve food products’ quality by reducing contamination. The purpose of a cleanroom is to prevent any contaminants from entering your product’s manufacturing process, which protects the consumer from hazards and helps develop food packaging.
Implementing a cleanroom environment during production ensures that your products are pure and safe for consumption by protecting them from bacteria and other harmful substances. This ensures that consumers receive only the highest quality product when they purchase it at the grocery store or restaurant.
If you, too, want to enhance your food products’ quality, using a cleanroom can be an excellent idea. It doesn’t have to be challenging, as there are readily available cleanrooms for quick installation. You can research how to build industrial cleanrooms and start the process. This will help you leverage all the benefits cleanrooms bring to the food industry.
Cleanrooms Can Help Develop Food Packaging
Food packaging is a vast industry within itself. According to Fortune Business Insights, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2021 to 2030. Cleanrooms can help with efficient food packaging.
A clean room is where activities can be carried out in a controlled environment. It’s used for food packaging, research, and manufacturing. Cleanrooms help develop new products and improve existing ones in the food industry.
Cleanrooms can help create the packaging that wraps around the food, boxes, cartons, wrappers, etc. They also help test the quality of these packages so you know they’re safe enough. In addition to creating new packaging materials and testing them out, cleanrooms are also used when it comes time to package up foods on store shelves.
How to Build a Cleanroom for Use in the Food Industry
You’ll need to research to build an industrial cleanroom for the food industry. First, consider the flow of materials and people in the cleanroom. People working in cleanrooms are one of the most significant contamination factors. Hence, you would want to keep them to a minimum.
Next, determine the classification of your desired space. This can be anything from ISO5 to ISO9, based on your requirements. Next, decide whether to pressurize your cleanroom. This is important because different levels of pressurization require different types of air handling systems which vary significantly in cost and complexity.
Finally, determine what air changes are required within your cleanroom during its operation. How many times per hour will outgoing air replace incoming air? This number is known as the “air change range.”
The air change rate must be high enough, so contaminants aren’t allowed time enough to settle back down onto surfaces after being flushed out by fresh airflow before being vented away from the room again. They should also be low enough so that cost-efficient heating/cooling equipment doesn’t waste too much energy on maintaining temperature uniformity inside.
You must then focus on maintaining a cleanroom environment. Maintaining environmental conditions within a cleanroom environment requires the following:
- Vigilance regarding temperature control through ventilation
- Humidity control through dehumidification
- Particulate removal via HEPA filtration
- Chemical sterilization processes such as ethylene oxide gas treatment, etc.
We have seen in this article that cleanrooms are a great way to improve the quality of food products and ensure they are safe for consumption by the consumer. In addition, cleanrooms help protect foods from hazards like contamination or spoilage.
Cleanroom technology also benefits food packaging because it allows manufacturers to create packages with improved shelf life and better flavor retention, which would be impossible without this type of facility.