Salsa Compliant

Safe and Local Supplier Approval (SALSA)

SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) was launched in 2007 in the UK and is a joint venture between the British Hospitality Association, FDF (Food and Drink Federation), NFU (National Farmers Union of England and Wales) and British Retail Consortium.  SALSA is a non-profit venture and is driven by the UK Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Modular Cleanroom Benefits

  • Modular Construction
  • Quick Assembly Time
  • Versatility
  • Reconfiguration
  • Airflow Control
  • Inexpensive Modifications

Objectives

Food safety experts come together to streamline best practice options for professional food buyers, as well as the legal requirements of food producers. Micro producers look to supply to national and regional buyers, while local producers are constantly aware of The Food Safety Act (1990), which addresses the confidence consumers should have eating food.

SALSA is a certified standard, which is only issued to suppliers that adhere to safe and legal food production. The SALSA standard recognised by UK leading food buyers has enabled business growth for smaller producers.

Cleanroom Design, Build & Validation

  • Budgeting and planning
  • Engineering, design & layout
  • Airflow and filtration design
  • Construction and Installation
  • Full Certification of our product
  • Industry-specific equipment installation
  • Validation

Demand for Cleanrooms in the Food Industry

The use of cleanrooms is on the increase amongst food manufacturing companies, with a growing need for cleanroom technology to check airborne food contamination and increase shelf-life. Hygiene and cleanliness are duly maintained using these secured enclosures. Cleanrooms ensure a reduction in PPC (particles per cubic metre) and keep microbial contact to a minimum.

Even though cleanrooms are used across many different industries, distinct specifications have to be met. This is because filter solution settings don’t transfer from one food industry to the next. The needs of a food cleanroom will depend on the specific individual preservative requirements of the food in question. Notably, a dry preservation process will be less stringent than a liquid product.

Food processors involve the dissemination of molds and yeasts, with air as a transfer medium. Mushrooms are often grown within modern cleanrooms to check the growth of opportunistic spores.

SALSA and Cleanrooms

Consumers would prefer natural foods without preservatives and at the same time, a longer product shelf life. SALSA ensures no chemical additives are injected into food before its distribution to food buyers and cleanrooms.

Suffice to say, there is a growing call for both increased food safety and a longer shelf-life, simultaneously. It’s possible achieve all these objectives through the use of specifically selected compliant cleanroom technology.

As a leader in cleanroom facilities, Total Clean Air recognised this need and have continuously provided technologically sound cleanroom facilities.

Compliant Cleanrooms

ISO 14644 is the required standard cleanrooms must meet.  HEPA and ULPA filters are utilised as a measure to reduce airborne particles within the cleanroom. These high performance and compliant filters reduce the incidence of unwanted molds and food pathogens during the food production process.

Cleanroom air filtration methods have reduced aerosol transmissions of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mhyo), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PPRS) and swine influenza in farming.


Cleanroom Aseptic Processing and Packaging

The word ‘aseptic’ derives from the Greek word ‘septicos’, which means not having putrefactive germs. Whilst traditional canning involves sterilising filled and sealed containers, aseptic packaging involves pre-sterilising the product. The pre-sterilised product is inserted into sterilised containers, which are hermetically sealed within a sterile commercial space.  Aseptic processing and packaging is used for a wide variety of foods.

An aseptic processing facility comprises a building with several clean rooms. The air within this facility is duly filtered to attain a suitable degree of air quality. Positive pressure is constantly applied to achieve that level of air quality. Equipment must be sterilised using both chemicals and heat.  Aseptic production in cleanrooms is highly specialized and involves experienced consultants being deployed.

Dairy Products

SALSA is dairy compliant, with no added artificial additives preceding cleanroom preservation. ISO Class 8 and Class 9 incorporate aseptic techniques as cleanroom methods.

Aseptic processing is carried out on yoghurt, soft cheese and sterile milk products. The aseptic sterilisation technique excludes the use of refrigeration. There is a shelf lifespan of a few months to several years for these aseptic products. Aseptic processing involves a three-step process:

  • Product receives a thermal sterilisation: a direct or indirect technique of heat transfer is applied. Direct techniques involve steam infusion or injection by passing foods through an injection chamber. An injection of steam at 150oC is carried out, after which the food product is flash cooled (thermodynamics of quick depressurisation and expansion with surrounding heat extraction) to 70O This process works for milk, which has a low viscosity and is a heat-sensitive food.
  • Sterilisation of the food wrapping material: this is a crucial stage in the sterilisation of food packages and containers. Sterilisation methods used include chemical sterilants like peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, heat or hot water.
  • Conservation of sterility whilst packaging.

Equipment and systems used during the aseptic method remain sterilised before and throughout the process.

Six requirements must be considered before the equipment can be used. These are:

  • The equipment should always be ready for a thorough cleaning.
  • The equipment should be able to endure chemicals, steam or hot water.
  • Contact with sterilisation media should be possible on a full 100% interface contact level. Equipment should have no dead spots, crevices or cracks.
  • Equipment should be stored in a sterile location after use.
  • Equipment should have the ability to be used on a continuous basis.
  • Equipment should meet all relevant standards.

Cleanrooms are strongly favoured in dairy and milk preservation and are a preferred substitute for traditional pasteurisation.


Breweries

Cleanrooms have control over the filling area, where heavy contamination occurs. This checking process involves the introduction of HEPA filters installed in the ceilings and within the perforated floors. This aseptic operation and the filling of beers have an ISO Class 5 (Class 100) and ISO Class 6 (Class 1,000) status. This control process is necessary to eliminate the contamination of not only beer, but also juices and soft drinks.

The former traditional strategy involved a tunnel pasteurisation with differing high temperatures. The end product from this strategy brought about contrasting characteristics. A modern approach through aseptic filling allows for a controlled, lower thermal temperature.

The outcome is improved beer freshness, an appealing aroma, longer shelf-life and beer stability profile. Juices avoid the high temperature intensity from tunnel pasteurisation and are spared from denaturalisation.


Bakeries and Confectionaries

Aseptic technology and biological cleanrooms have been embraced by the bakery industry; in this niche, they are responsible for the production of noodles, soy bean, bread and confectionaries.

There is greater intensification for controlled environments within the bakery industry, because bacterium levels, humidity and temperature require regular checking and adjustment.

Meat

Aseptic production ensures meat doesn’t toughen – unlike other canned products.

Aseptic production helps check the spread of bacterium. Listeria monocytogenes is a common airborne bacterium which affects meat. Humans affected with this bacterium can contract blood poisoning, meniningo-encephalitis or meningitis. This disease affects tissues of the spine and brain.

The huge demand for meat consumption from the ready-to-eat market has put increased pressure on cleanroom technology and aseptic production in general.

Food Equipment

Isolators are used in sterile food production lines, R and D laboratories and test pilot projects. The use of isolators in cleanrooms for food processing comes under ISO Class 4 (Class 10), which has helped in the following areas:

Saving cost: isolators reduce cost when compared to other clean units and helps improve the shelf-life of products. Isolators help save huge operational and installation costs from other system units. This is because isolators are mini standalone sites.

Hygiene: isolators offer protection from cleanroom staff, the environment as well as pathogens.

Marketing: isolators provide a thriving environment for natural preservative-free products to be produced. This enabling environment provides a rich production, whereby the taste and texture of food products remains natural.


Food Packaging

Foods can be wrapped using the TWA package. The Tetra Wedge Aseptic (TWA) 200 S pack allows for long-lasting flavour and colour. This pack can last for six months without refrigerating, as it deploys terephthalic silicon oxide (PET SiOx) as an oxygen barrier.

The pack is made from polyethylene which serves as a tight seal. A thin layer of aluminium foil acts as a barrier to shield oxygen and light. It has the added benefit of easy handling and even heating.

Choice of Packaging Materials

Plastic is the most preferred choice for food packaging material, because of its relatively low cost and non-weighty property, compared to glass or metal. The amount of energy spent to create plastic is not much compared to that put into other materials.  

Choosing Aseptic Packages

Plastic polymer has the following functional attributes as an aseptic package:

  • Barrier properties with water vapour and gas
  • Inertness on a chemical basis
  • Odor absorption
  • Possible chemical interaction between the food and plastic polymer
  • Shelf-life
  • Cost implications of the package
  • Mechanical attributes; molding properties of plastic polymer is better than compared to other competitive products

Come on board

Total Clean Air would love your business to come on board, so we can share our expertise on food production modular cleanrooms with you. We’ve been able to carve out a remarkable name for ourselves with reliabile, high-quality food cleanroom systems and are able to offer an unbeatable, competitive pricing plan.


phillip.godden
Phillip Godden

Phillip Godden is the Founder & Chief/Executive Officer at Total Clean Air.

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