Air curtains also known as food processing curtains or air doors are an essential requirement in the agri-food industry. In recent years, hygiene and temperature laws have been tightened by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). Leading further scrutiny from the AQIS within major perishable food handling facilities, abattoirs, cool rooms and fruit and vegetable shipping facilities.
What is an Air Curtains?
An air curtain essentially creates an invisible door by supplying a high-velocity stream of air. This invisible door prevents the inflow of external air and restricts the outflow of internal air through air circulation. Food processing curtains help to regulate internal temperatures trapping clean air inside whilst keeping out any contaminants from the external environment.
Where are Air Curtains used?
Air curtains are primarily used in abattoirs, food processing plans and storage industries. However, they are also suitable for pharmaceutical operations, chemical plans, shopping centres, hospitals, childcare centres, restaurants and food outlets.
Food processing curtains emit a strong flow of air in front of entrances to block out dust, odours and insects from entering. They are also effective for walk-in refrigerators to prevent cold air emissions.
What are the benefits of Air Curtains?
There are many benefits when installing air curtains for your agri-food or food processing business. For many in the industry, air curtains are vital to creating a protective layer to keep insects and other airborne contaminants out of production areas, keeping food products free from bacteria.
- Helps to sustain regulatory internal temperatures
- Improves sanitation for the internal environment
- Prevents insects, dust and odours from entering
- Develops a functional barrier between internal and external conditions
- Effective energy consumption, decreasing the strain on internal heating or cooling systems.
- Reduce the risk of fines or shutdowns by AQIS for not complying with airflow standards
AQIS compliance for Air Curtains in Australia
According to AQIS regulations in section 42.29.1 “Where air curtains are used as a precaution against the entry of insects into buildings, the air curtains should conform to the following requirements: the airstream velocity should not be less than 8m per second, measured 900mm above the floor for overhead mounted units and across the entire opening for side-mounted units”. Fanquip’s air curtains are industrial-rated built to satisfy AQIS velocity requirements and to cover an opening completely. These requirements, under the Meat Safety Quality Assurance System (MSQA) for fresh meat and processed meat products, state that an air curtain generated should be at least 50 mm thick and the airstream velocity should be at least 8 m/s measured 90 mm above the floor for overhead mounted units and across the entire opening for side-mounted units.
Ranging in curtain widths from 900mm to 1500mm, Fanquip air curtains have free air volume outputs of 850l/s to 2200l/s. The constructions are heavy-duty stainless steel, IP56 washdown duty, and stop cold air from escaping a cool room equally as well as stopping insects from entering the premises.