Odour management in the food industry
Thursday, 07 December, 2017
When it comes to processing raw food and materials, noxious odours are one of the biggest challenges in the food and dairy processing industry.
With the rise of urban development residing closer to industrial worksites, food and dairy processing plants need to adopt stricter odour management solutions to lower the impact of offensive odours on the local community.
Other factors leading to an increased demand for safer, more eco-friendly and efficient odour and wastewater management include:
- increasing demand of on-site water treatment;
- increasing regulations from the environmental protection agency (EPA);
- prevention of Work Health and Safety accidents;
- community intolerance to noxious odours;
- the complexity of different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to manage.
In Australia, a number of odour and wastewater management solutions are available to meet the specific needs of the food processing industry.
Airborne odour treatment
Airborne misting systems neutralise a range of indoor and outdoor odours.
These facilities are easy to install and maintain, while the automatic operation saves time and money on manual labour. Due to their widespread coverage and efficiency, they’re ideal for reducing the spread of offensive odours among the local community.
Made from a powerful combination of essential oils and surfactants, the mist is released as airborne droplets that attract and neutralise the odour particles. Airborne misting systems are also environmentally friendly and meet EPA regulations.
Surface odour control
Surface odour control involves using an odour-neutralising concentrate to manage surfaces and solid organic material from wastewater.
Applied directly as a spray, the foaming agent breaks down the organic materials and neutralises the source of the odour. This eliminates strong odours that emit from surfaces and degrade organic material found in leachate lagoons and holding tanks. Due to its portability, the spray device can be transported anywhere to treat indoor and outdoor areas.
The surface odour control is made from a powerful combination of essential oils, minerals, purines, amino acids, pyrimidines, vitamins and complex organic extracts. These ingredients are natural, non-toxic and made from biodegradable materials to reduce environmental impact and comply with WHS regulations.
Vapour systems are another form of airborne odour control designed to eliminate a range of indoor and outdoor odours.
Rather than simply mask the effect, vaporisers target odours from the source and destroy them at a molecular level. The deodoriser is specially formulated to stay in the air for longer, so it makes contact with a larger number of odour particles than conventional sprays — thereby making it more effective.
Vapour systems are custom installed to suit food and dairy food processing sites of any size. They can be installed in unobtrusive areas and provide discreet treatment against offensive odours with little manual operation.
The future of odour management
Due to the rising scarcity and cost of fresh water, renewable forms of wastewater and odour management are already shaping the food processing industry.
Zero liquid discharge (ZLD) is the latest in cutting-edge wastewater management. It works by collecting dissolved solids from the wastewater and transforming the solids into crystals through a combination of membrane filtration and evaporation. Finally, the crystals are removed and dewatered — causing the evaporation to be condensed and returned to the process.
By purifying and recycling virtually all collected wastewater, ZLD technology is able to preserve water consumption and eliminate the production of effluents.
Current trends indicate a positive shift towards the adoption of ZLD technology. The process has become mandatory across all industries in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, and the global market investment for ZLD is estimated to be around $100–200 million.
While advancements in the technology are constrained by high running costs and excessive energy consumption, rising interest in the United States and emerging global markets like China and India is a step in the right direction.
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