Compressed Air in the Pet Food Industry

Compressed air used in the manufacturing process of pet food should be considered a Critical Factor as it can have a direct affect on the Commercial Sterility of the final product. Assuring pet food safety and quality is essential for the viability of any pet food manufacturer.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the pet food industry. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat and contain no harmful substances. Compressed air used in the manufacturing process of pet food should be considered a Critical Factor as it can have a direct affect on the Commercial Sterility of the final product. Assuring pet food safety and quality is essential for the viability of any pet food manufacturer.

Compressed Air used in the pet food industry is just as important as it is in the human food or pharmaceutical industries. We wouldn’t want to unknowingly subject our pets to anything harmful. Compressed Air can easily become contaminated if not monitored, properly maintained and the quality tested. Learn more about Compressor Contamination Sources at the AirCheck Academy™.

Contamination in compressed air like particles, water or oil can have devastating results on a final product, potentially leading to recalls, down manufacturing time or worse. Food and pharmaceutical manufacturers alike refer to an industry standard for compressed air that is known as ISO 8573. ISO 8573 is an excellent reference for the pet food manufacturer and its suppliers. There is a real need for manufacturers to protect its consumers’ pets from contaminated food by identifying compressed air as a Critical Factor.

ISO 8573 identifies the three primary areas of potential contamination in compressed air – Particles, Water, and Oil. In the human food industry, compressed air coming in Direct Contact with food needs to meet ISO 8573-1:2001 Purity Class 2:2:1; Indirect Contact needs to meet 2:4:1. See the table below for limits.

Pet Food Compressed Air & Gas Testing Specifications

Trace Analytics, LLC is an A2LA Accredited Laboratory in compliance with ISO 17025 as required by BRC and SQF. We can test to a wide variety of specifications. Some example specs commonly used in Pet Food are shown below:

BCAS Food and Beverage Grade Compressed Air
Best Practice Guideline 102

ISO 8573-1:2010
Purity Class
Particles Water Oil
By Particle Size
(maximum number of particles per m3)
Vapor Pressure Dewpoint Aerosol & Vapor
0.1 - 0.5 micron 0.5 - 1.0 micron 1.0 - 5.0 micron °C °F mg/m3
Direct Contact
2:2:1
400,000 6,000 100 ≤ -40 ≤ -40 ≤ 0.01
Indirect Contact
2:4:2
400,000 6,000 100 ≤ +3 ≤ +37 ≤ 0.1
Microbial Contaminants Hazard analysis shall establish the risk of contamination by microbiological contaminants from compressed air. The level of control identified as being required over microbiological contaminants in the compressed air shall be detected using the test method specified in ISO 8573-7.
Air & Gas Specifications referenced above may be viewed and/or purchased from: BCAS - British Compressed Air Society

Compressed air quality should be tested and verified and additional testing is warranted whenever maintenance work or any activity that may affect the air quality is performed on the compressed air system. It is suggested that a representative selection of the air outlets shall be tested to confirm that the compressed air meets the relevant Purity Classes noted in the Table above.

A periodic air test program can provide critical information to monitor air quality and help prevent contamination of the pet food supply. Due to the critical nature of compressed air used in the pet food manufacturing process, qualified personnel should be employed to properly maintain, service, and test the compressed air system.

We offer baseline testing when you are unsure what Purity Classes your air system can meet, select Purity Classes from the current ISO 8573-1:2010 specs below, or provide your own custom specification.

Trace Analytics is an A2LA accredited laboratory established in 1989. We do one thing: test compressed air! We have a great team of experts ready to answer your questions and help you get started with your air quality assurance program.

To receive more information about process air and pure gas testing for the pet food industry, ISO 8573-1 and our baseline testing with AirCheck Kit™ K810, Contact Us by email or phone 1-800-247-1024 x3.

ISO 8573-1:2010 Compressed Air Contaminants and Purity Classes

Class Particles Water Oil
By Particle Size
(maximum number of particles per m3) See Note 2
By Mass Vapor Pressure Dewpoint Liquid Liquid, Aerosol, & Vapor
See Note 1
0.10 – 0.5 microns 0.5 – 1.0 microns 1.0 – 5.0 microns mg/m3 °C °F g/m3 mg/m3
0 As specified by the equipment user or supplier and more stringent than class 1
1 ≤ 20,000 ≤ 400 ≤ 10 - ≤ -70 ≤ -94 - ≤ 0.01
2 ≤ 400,000 ≤ 6,000 ≤ 100 - ≤ -40 ≤ -40 - ≤ 0.1
3 - ≤ 90,000 ≤ 1,000 - ≤ -20 ≤ - 4 - ≤ 1
4 - - ≤ 10,000 - ≤ +3 ≤ +37 - ≤ 5
5 - - ≤ 100,000 - ≤ +7 ≤ +45 - -
6 - - - 0 – ≤ 5 ≤ +10 ≤ +50 - -
7 - - - 5 – ≤ 10 - - ≤ 0.5 -
8 - - - - - - ≤ 5 -
9 - - - - - - ≤ 10 -
X - - - > 10 - - > 10 > 5
  Microbiological Contaminants Other Gaseous Contaminants
  No purity classes are identified No purity classes are identified
Gases mentioned are: CO, CO2, SO2, NOX, Hydrocarbons in the range of C1 to C5

Note 1: ISO 8573 Oil includes aerosol, vapor in the range of C6+, and liquid oil. Liquid oil is typically sampled when wall flow is present, contamination is suspected, or results are greater than 5 mg/m3. Trace can provide a separate kit for liquid oil testing.

Note 2: For Particle Class 0, 1, & 2 (0.1 - 0.5 µ range only), a laser particle counter with a high-pressure diffuser is required. Rental of this equipment is available on a reservation basis. Contact us for details. To qualify for Particle Classes 0 through 5, there can be no particles greater than 5µ present.

In some cases, Trace uses alternative sampling techniques or analytical methods to those specified in ISO 8573, for details see Smith White Paper, 2012.

Air & Gas Specifications referenced above may be viewed and/or purchased from: ANSI - American National Standards Institute

Videos

To see manufacturing and ISO compressed air testing, watch our Videos on Air Testing with AirCheck Kit™ K810

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