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Is it acceptable to only test the moisture level in compressed air?

compressed air

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#1 TGM2010

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 04:22 PM

Hi,

 

Is it acceptable to only test the moisture level in compressed air used in a plant that processes edible oil? I have done a risk analysis and believe microbes will not pose a risk because oil does not support the growth of microbes. The moisture level is very low.

 

We use food grade oil.

 

Any thoughts? 

 

Thanks for your help in this.


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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 04:46 PM

Dear TBM,

 

You have omitted to mention the use of the compressed air. i assume direct contact to the edible oil is possible.

 

Lack of growth capability does not necessarily mean unable to be contaminated. Think peanuts.

 

I seem to recall the SQF standard (assumed) allows a risk assessment or a (SQF) nominally defined procedure.

 

So what is the risk of contamination ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - i suspect Food-Grade compressor oil does not exist if you mean edible ? ISO sets limits for the amount of oil contaminant vs grade of CA from memory.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 xylough

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 06:39 PM

Requirements for compressed air need to be analyzed for hazards. As an example, if compressed air is merely used to power or actuate equipment with no risk of contamination of food, food-contact equipment or primary packaging then the testing or filtering requirement may be minimal. If on the other hand the compressed air is used to blow, dry or move food, food-contact machinery or food-contact packaging then the hazard risk will be high. You should consider the requirements of Codex, FDA, USDA, FSMA, HACCP, HARPC, 3rd Party audits for GMP or GFSI benchmarks. I know that under the jurisdictions I have worked 1/10th micron bacterial filters had to be used, documented, dated, verified and validated for compressed air used to blow open food-contact vacuum seal bags.

 

Compressed air is commonly adulterated with metal oxidations, oil, water and the untold microbes that may live in that water.


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 07:52 PM

Requirements for compressed air need to be analyzed for hazards. As an example, if compressed air is merely used to power or actuate equipment with no risk of contamination of food, food-contact equipment or primary packaging then the testing or filtering requirement may be minimal. If on the other hand the compressed air is used to blow, dry or move food, food-contact machinery or food-contact packaging then the hazard risk will be high. You should consider the requirements of Codex, FDA, USDA, FSMA, HACCP, HARPC, 3rd Party audits for GMP or GFSI benchmarks. I know that under the jurisdictions I have worked 1/10th micron bacterial filters had to be used, documented, dated, verified and validated for compressed air used to blow open food-contact vacuum seal bags.

 

Compressed air is commonly adulterated with metal oxidations, oil, water and the untold microbes that may live in that water.

 

Dear xylough,

 

i agree with yr logic. Nonetheless, based on the existing SQF threads here, a less sophisticated procedure seems to  typically prevail. Maybe due to the confusing info. available from SQF.

 

The most rigorous, SQF recommended, general purpose, choice is installing 0.01 micron filtering capability (aka sterile filter). The least rigorous, also SQF recommended, is 0.1 micron. Why one might be preferred over the other is, afaik, unexplained. Some, but not all, manufacturers of filtration units support the former option, eg as "Best Practice". It does seem to offer the simplest (audit) route.

 

Alternatively, one could offer a RA. So far no SQF posts seem to have done this or, perhaps, those which do prefer to remain under the radar. Generic RAs do exist in the literature which correlate the type of process/CA usage to necessary CA quality/appropriate filtration systems, eg BCAS.  These have been discussed elsewhere on this forum in some detail.

 

I have often wondered if SQF auditors will accept a zero filtration option at the POA [Point of application]. So far, no posted data/comments to allow assessment. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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