Do Air Purifiers Reduce Allergies?

air purifier allergens

Every year, as the snows melt and we look forward to warmer weather and longer days, many people dread the months of runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing that lie ahead. Seasonal allergies are a common problem that seems to worsen with each passing year as the climate warms.

While seasonal allergies are rarely dangerous, they can cause sufferers severe discomfort that can be difficult to alleviate. In this article, find out more about seasonal and environmental allergens and discover whether air purifiers can mitigate their effects.

What are environmental allergens?

An allergen is a substance that a person’s immune system overreacts to and classifies as dangerous, even though it is normally harmless. The immune system reacts by releasing histamines, which cause allergy symptoms such as swelling of the eyes, nose and throat and sneezing in an attempt expel the allergen from the body.

Also, allergens are particles that travel through the air and cause an immune response when inhaled, as opposed to substances that are ingested. Unfortunately, this makes them harder to avoid.

Pollen

Trees, grasses and weeds reproduce by generating pollen, which is spread on the wind or via insects. Pollen spread by the wind is the main cause of seasonal allergy symptoms. Different types of plants emit pollen at different times of year, so the season during which you experience allergies will depend on what kind of pollen you’re allergic to.

Pollen levels also vary depending on location and weather conditions, but generally speaking, warmer, windier weather means worse symptoms for allergy sufferers.

Dust, mold and pet hair

Environmental allergens such as dust, mold and pet hair may be present in a home regardless of the season. Dust are a permanent fixture of houses regardless of how diligently they are cleaned, and pet hair can remain a problem for months after the animal has left.

For those who suffer from allergies, it’s important to take steps to avoid and eliminate allergens wherever possible.

Can air purifiers help with allergies?

Air purification systems are designed to clean the air in a room by trapping or deactivating particulates and pushing the filtered or sanitized air back into the space. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are particularly effective at trapping airborne particles 0.3 microns in size, which are the hardest to trap and the most easily drawn into the lungs.

Best air purifier for allergies

Studies have shown that air purifiers with HEPA filters successfully capture substantial amounts of airborne allergens, significantly improving the respiratory function of asthmatic allergy sufferers. With fewer allergens circulating in the air, people experience fewer symptoms, easier breathing and a better night’s sleep.

Note that for a residential air purifier to be effective at getting rid of allergens in the home, it must have a CADR (clean air delivery rate) that matches the size of the room it’s in, and the HEPA filter needs to be cleaned and replaced regularly.

Other ways to mitigate allergies

  • Seal exterior windows and foundation cracks to keep pollen and mold from infiltrating your home.
  • Opt for flooring and furniture that can be easily mopped, vacuumed or dusted.
  • Avoid having carpets in the home—they are reservoirs of allergens that are difficult to clean adequately. Furthermore, the particles they contain are released into the air every time the carpet is disturbed.
  • Wash bed sheets once a week in hot water.
  • Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines can be used to alleviate symptoms, and doctors may prescribe medication for more severe reactions.

Breathe easy with Sanuvox!

Regardless of how diligently you try to avoid them, a certain amount of allergens will always find their way into the house. Using an air purifier to clean the air you breathe can go a long way towards alleviating those troublesome symptoms and improving your quality of life.

Purchasing an air purifier is an investment in your health. HEPA filters are very effective at trapping airborne allergens, and air purifiers with UV technology destroy mold spores, viruses and bacteria that are also found in the air and can pose significant health risks.

Sanuvox is a global leader in air purification solutions. Contact us today to face allergy season with equanimity!

How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Smell

cigarette smoke smell

Cigarette smoke smell can be tenacious. Despite our best efforts, it often lingers in indoor spaces long after the smoking has occurred. In addition to being unpleasant, the chemicals it contains can be harmful to our health.

Of course, the best option is to prevent cigarette smoke from permeating the space in the first place, but that isn’t always possible. If smoking does occur, there are ways to mitigate the smell and the hazards associated with it.

In this article, the experts at Sanuvox explain why cigarette smoke smell is so persistent, what dangers it poses and how to eliminate it from your home.

Sources and risks of cigarette smoke smell

Tobacco contains a plethora of chemicals that are released into the air when someone smokes. These chemicals linger in the air, stick to surfaces and accumulate in house dust. Indoors, 70% to 90% of nicotine and NNK (a carcinogen specific to tobacco) remain in the environment and can linger for months to years after the smoking has taken place.

These lingering chemicals are called thirdhand smoke. Almost any surface can absorb them: carpets, walls, furniture, curtains, etc. People are then exposed to the chemicals by touching the surfaces or inhaling the off-gassing.

Thirdhand smoke contains a variety of toxic compounds, many of which are harmful to human health. They can directly damage DNA, change the way reproductive cells function, damage the respiratory system and lead to a higher risk of cancer. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to eliminate thirdhand smoke.

Ways to get rid of cigarette smoke smell

There are a variety of strategies you can use to try to get rid of cigarette smoke smell. Note that the longer the smoking has been going on, the deeper the chemicals will have penetrated into the household surfaces, making the smell harder to eliminate.

Cleaning

Cleaning is an essential step when it comes to getting cigarette smoke smell out of your house. Wash your clothes and any other fabrics that can easily be put through the washing machine. For hard surfaces, try scrubbing them with a solution of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water to dissolve the greasy residue left by the cigarette smoke.

Deodorizers

Baking soda is a great deodorizer, because it neutralizes odours but has no strong smell itself (as opposed to vinegar, for example). You can sprinkle baking soda on upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets etc. let it sit for several hours or overnight, then vacuum.

Coffee grounds and activated charcoal are also effective at absorbing odours. You can try placing bowls of them at strategic points around your house to get rid of the cigarette smoke smell.

You can also boil lemon peel in water on the stove for around 20 minutes. The fragrant steam will help deodorize the house.

Ventilation

One of the most important things you can do to eliminate cigarette smoke smell is to make sure that clean air is circulating in your house. Weather permitting, open all the windows to let fresh air in from the outside. You can use box fans, standing fans and even the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to help the air circulate.

The chemical dust and particles that give off cigarette smoke smell can easily accumulate in your air ducts and HVAC system, so it’s important to clean the ducts and replace your filters regularly.

Air purifiers

Air purifiers are invaluable tools for getting rid of cigarette smoke smell. They can be used while the smoking is going on to eliminate the chemicals before they have a chance to settle on surfaces, and afterwards to mitigate the effects of harmful off-gassing and remove the lingering smell from the air.

When it comes to combating cigarette smoke smell, not all residential air purifiers are created equal. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are able to filter out cigarette smoke ashes particles, but they have no effect on volatile organic compounds, which include the chemicals released in cigarette smoke that are harmful to human health. Activated carbon filters are more effective at trapping these chemicals.

Air purifiers with UV technology are able to neutralize the chemicals and odours associated with cigarette smoke. Air is pulled through a UV chamber and subjected to photo-oxidation, which degrades the chemicals in addition to destroying micro-organisms such as mold, viruses and bacteria. Stimulated by the high energy of the UV light, large organic compounds are broken down into smaller molecules by oxidation.  This is in essence what is being accomplished inside the Sanuvox ultraviolet air purifier. Carcinogenic organic compounds emitted by cigarettes are decomposed by a high intensity UV source and get destroyed by photo-oxidation at an accelerated rate.

Eliminate cigarette smoke smell with Sanuvox

Smoking cigarettes releases harmful chemicals that linger in the air and on surfaces long afterwards. These chemicals and their unpleasant smell can be difficult to remove from your home. While deodorizers can help mask the smell, deep cleaning and certain types of air purifiers are the most effective ways to eliminate the chemicals emitted during smoking.

Sanuvox is a global leader in smoke removal air purifiers. Our patented high-intensity UV lamps deliver the maximum UV dosage to the moving air stream to degrade chemicals and eliminate odours with our BIOPÜR unique product complemented with HEPA and activated carbon filter to eliminate cigarette smoke odours. Contact us today for air purification solutions that will eliminate cigarette smoke smell and ensure the cleanliness of the air you breathe.

How to Clean and Sanitize Your HVAC System

Whether you’re at work or at home, your HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning) has a major impact on the air you breathe. A well-maintained HVAC system controls the temperature indoors, the humidity, and brings clean air in from outside, but one that’s neglected can be a vector of unwanted pollutants and health hazards.

What does HVAC system maintenance involve? Is it enough to clean the system, or does it need to be sanitized and disinfected as well? Can you do it yourself, or is it best left to the professionals?

Find out in this article!

The importance of a clean HVAC system

HVAC systems are essential for good air quality indoors, but they are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Dust accumulates in the ducts, clogging filters and vents and contaminating the air. Any condensation or leakage can lead to the proliferation of mould and fungi. If HVAC systems are not properly sanitized, viruses and bacteria can circulate and develop freely to a point that can generate health problem to your family.

In addition to lowering the air quality and increasing the presence of allergens and other health hazards, the pollutants clogging the system can also affect its performance, drive up energy costs and shorten its lifespan.

How to clean an HVAC system

Manual cleaning removes solid particles from the ducts. If you undertake the task yourself, it’s important to wear a recommended mask and gloves to avoid inhaling or coming into direct contact with the pollutants as you clean. Please see all the recommendation related BEFORE to work on your unit. It seems simple, but you must be really careful not to damage your equipment performance or reliability.

The procedure for cleaning an HVAC system is as follows:

  • Read all instruction manual for maintenance unit and procedure. Please, keep away children and animal during the maintenance process and cleaning.
  • Clean the vents, grilles and registers by wiping them down thoroughly.
  • Cover the supply vents to prevent dust and debris from blowing out while you’re cleaning other parts of the HVAC system.
  • Loosen any build-up of dust and debris in the ducts If you have a “fan on” option on your thermostat, turning it on can help move the dust.
  • Clean the air ducts by vacuuming as far into them as you can reach, then wiping them down with a damp cloth.
  • For more in-depth cleaning, vacuum the blower compartment, return air boot and furnace fan. You’ll need to remove the panels to access the compartment. Don’t forget to shut off the fan and furnace before this step!
  • Clean or replace the filters. The filters should be rinsed thoroughly every month and replaced every three months or follow recommend maintenance process from the manufacturer. Look at your instruction manual.

Cleaning an HVAC system is a complex task that often requires some disassembly and specialized equipment to access the hard-to-reach areas. Professionals generally have the equipment and expertise needed to do a thorough job. During regular HVAC maintenance, the technician will clean the system and inspect it for problems such as leaks. Cleaning and maintenance are very important, but they don’t truly sanitize the HVAC system.

How to sanitize an HVAC system

Sanitization goes a step further, eradicating the microorganisms that are too small to be affected by manual cleaning. Without it, dirt and debris may be eliminated but viruses, bacteria, mould and fungi will be able to proliferate unchecked.

Chemicals

There are professional fogging services you can get to sanitize and disinfect your HVAC system. They will use chemicals such as sporicidal disinfectant to kill the microorganisms in the system and purify the air.

While these chemicals are effective, they can present problems of their own. The temperature and humidity variations intrinsic to HVAC systems can interact with the chemicals and cause harmful off-gassing, which is then circulated through the building and breathed in by its occupants.

If you choose chemical sanitizing for your HVAC system, it should generally be done once every six months.

UV light

UV lights can be installed inside the HVAC system to continuously disinfect the air without the use of hazardous chemicals. UV light penetrates microorganisms and disrupts their molecular structure, rendering them inactive or killing them outright.

Commercial HVAC coil cleaners equipped with high-intensity UV lamps can be installed near the evaporator coils to sanitize the HVAC system, and UV air disinfection units can be placed directly in the ducts to eliminate contaminants. Air purifiers with UV technology can also be used in residential and commercial settings to improve the quality of the air.

HVAC sanitizing solutions from Sanuvox

If you want to breathe clean air that’s free of pollutants and keep your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency, then it’s important to have it properly sanitized. There are steps you can take to clean the system yourself, but they won’t be as effective as professional products and services. Chemical treatments are effective at eradicating viruses, bacteria and mould, but they can create their own health hazards and they aren’t permanent solutions.

Sanuvox’s patented high-intensity UV lamps are a safe and effective way of sanitizing both air and surfaces. Whether they are installed in the HVAC system or working as a component of an air purifier, they improve the quality of the air so that you can breathe freely. Contact us to find out more about our air purification solutions today!

How to Test Air Quality in an Office Space

Indoor air quality is becoming more and more of an issue in modern times. Buildings are being made more airtight, the use of synthetic materials is increasing, and energy conservation measures that reduce the supply of outside air are popular—all factors that negatively affect air quality.

Canadian occupational health and safety legislation states that employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace, and that includes clean, good quality air. Furthermore, improving air quality can boost employee productivity and well-being. It is in employers’ best interests to test the air quality in the office and take steps to ensure that their work environment is safe and clean for all occupants.

Office Air Pollutants

The following pollutants have a wide variety of sources commonly found in the office:

  • Formaldehyde from particleboard, foam insulation, fabrics, glue, carpets and furnishings
  • VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from copying and printing machines, computers, carpets, furnishings, cleaning materials, paints, adhesives, caulking, perfume, hairspray and solvents
  • Ozone from photocopiers
  • Carbon dioxide from the occupants of the building and fossil fuel combustion
  • Carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust
  • Allergens such as dust mites, animal dander and pollen
  • Fungi and mould caused by humidity or water damage
  • Bacteria and viruses

These pollutants can cause people in the office to experience dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, allergies, congestion, coughing and sneezing, dizziness and nausea, among other things. The term “sick building syndrome” has been coined for symptoms that appear related to time spent in the office.

 

How to Test Indoor Air Quality

To assess your office’s air quality, you must first conduct a visual inspection of the building. Look for possible sources of contamination or water damage, and make sure chemicals and cleaning products are properly sealed and stored. Check outside the building for any pollutants that may be drawn in through the ventilation system. The HVAC system should be inspected by a professional to make sure it is working properly.

Then, the building’s occupants should be questioned, particularly any who are experiencing symptoms. Air sampling to test for pollutants should only be done after these measures have been taken, and the sampling strategy used should be based on the information gleaned.

Equipment Used to Test Indoor Air Quality

Air sampling can be used to compare indoor and outdoor air quality, identify problem areas, and test hypotheses about the source of the problem. There are many different types of equipment that can be used to test the air, such as samplers, analyzers, and direct-reading devices. Some measure the air quality continuously, while others take one sample at a time. Some require lab analysis and specialized training, while others are simple to employ.

Simple, preliminary measurements such as temperature, humidity, air movement and CO2 levels may be done by anyone using portable devices, but these are limited in terms of their accuracy and ability to analyze the data. It’s best to have a qualified professional test the air quality in your office to identify the problem and work on a solution.

For more information on how to test air quality in the office, consult Health Canada’s guide to indoor air quality in office buildings.

 

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Control Pollutants at the Source

It’s important to control the causes of airborne pollutants in the building wherever possible. Too much humidity can lead to the proliferation of mould and other biological contaminants, so spills and leaks should be addressed promptly. The building should be cleaned frequently with non-toxic cleaning products. Consider investing in low-VOC carpets and have them vacuumed on a regular basis. You may also want to add plants to mitigate CO2 levels.

Improve Ventilation

Most office buildings rely on a ventilation system that pulls air in from the outside to improve the air quality indoors. However, if the ventilation system is clogged, faulty or has been hampered in order to cut heating and cooling costs, the air quality will inevitably suffer.

Purify the Air

Commercial air purification systems and UV air disinfection products make all the difference when it comes to office air quality. SANUVOX commercial air purification system can help you to eliminate or purify airborne pollutants, protect your employees and even help decrease HVAC energy consumption by keeping your coils clean !

 

Improve Office Air Quality with Sanuvox

Sanuvox is a North American leader in air purification and disinfection in the workplace. Our patented UV technology destroys contaminants and degrades chemicals and odours, significantly improving the air quality indoors.

If you would like to provide a safe work environment and boost your employees’ productivity and well-being, contact Sanuvox today! We’re a breath of fresh air.

Using Sanuvox UVC technology to reduce the propagation of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Using Sanuvox UVC technology to reduce the propagation of SARS-CoV-2 virus

  • UVC irradiation (254 nm) is known for its germicidal properties. By disrupting their nucleic acids (DNA/RNA), it inactivates the reproductive capability of biological pathogens (molds, viruses, bacteria).1, 2

  • Sanuvox in-duct units have been demonstrated to be up to 99,97% effective at inactivating viruses and bacteria in the air in a study conducted by the EPA and Homeland Security 3. Bacteria and virus tested in the study (B.atrophaeus, S.marescens, MS2) are known to be more resistant to UVC than SARS-CoV-2 virus. 4,5
  • Many engineering and health agencies (ASHRAE, REHVA, CDC) now recognize that airborne transmission plays a major role in the propagation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. These agencies also recommend using UVGI as an effective method to mitigate the spread of the virus in indoor spaces. 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Because Sanuvox units are specified according to HVAC systems parameters, adequate UV output power is calculated using our proprietary software. As such, patented Biowall units can achieve the recommended 99% disinfection per pass regardless of air velocity.
 

1 https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/uv-lights-and-lamps-ultraviolet-c-radiation-disinfection-and-coronavirus

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789813/

3 https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?Lab=NHSRC&address=nhsrc/&dirEntryId=154947

https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783642019982

5 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339887436_2020_COVID-19_Coronavirus_Ultraviolet_Susceptibility

https://www.ashrae.org/about/news/2021/ashrae-epidemic-task-force-releases-updated-airborne-transmission-guidance

7 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/scientific-brief-sars-cov-2.html

https://www.rehva.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/REHVA_COVID-19_guidance_document_V4_09122020.pdf

9 https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/filtration-disinfection

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Reducing Odors in Waste Rooms

Reducing Odors in Waste Rooms

Facilities, apartments and condominiums often suffer from odors from the garbage rooms that migrate from the holding area to the garage or on the floors through the chute system.

Different stand-alone systems can be used to eliminate these problems by destroying bacteria and removing chemical and biological odors. The objective is to rapidly recirculate the air in the room in front of UV-C to break down bacteria’s DNA, and in front of UV-V to oxidize the chemical decay molecules while minimizing the residual ozone.

MANUAL SETTING EQUIPMENT

The Sanuvair® S600:
This stand-alone UV air purifier incorporates a variable blower of 300 to 600 cfm, an aluminum mesh washable prefilter to capture particulates and 3 full UV-V oxidizing lamps. According to the customer’s needs, one, two or three UV-V 6.5’’ U shaped  lamps are lighted up.

Room size:  up to 8,000 cubic feet

Suggested installation Sanuvair® S600:

AUTOMATIC SETTING EQUIPMENT

The Sanuvair® S300 OZD:
This stand-alone UV air purifier incorporates a two-speed blower of 220/300 cfm, a 2” pleated prefilter to capture particulates, 1 UVC/UVV lamp and 1 full UV-V oxidizing lamp tied with 20 ft of wiring to an ozone controller set at 0.025 ppm. The controller will sample the air every minute and trigger off the UV-V lamp if more than the set point of ozone is detected. It also comes with 2 extra prefilters.

Room size:  up to 3,000 cubic feet

Suggested installation Sanuvair® S300 OZD:

The Sanuvair® S1000 OZD:
This stand-alone UV air purifier incorporates a blower of 1,000 cfm, 2 x 1” pleated prefilter to capture particulates, 1 UVC/UVV “J” shaped 16” lamp and 1 full UV-V “J” shaped 16” oxidizing lamp tied with 20 ft of wiring to an ozone controller set at 0.025 ppm. The controller will sample the air every minute and trigger off the UV-V lamp if more than the set point of ozone is detected. It also comes with 2 extra prefilters.

Room size:  up to 10,000 cubic feet

Suggested installation Sanuvair® S1000 OZD:

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Formicary Corrosion & Biofilm Fouling of Cooling Coils

Formicary Corrosion and Biofilm Fouling of Cooling Coils

By Normand Brais, P.Eng., M.A.Sc., Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION

Air conditioning is responsible for substantial electricity consumption and peak demand in most of the United States. Over the past decade, energy conservation researchers have studied air conditioning more and more. Much of this research has focused on the impact of air flow, duct leakage, and refrigerant charge level on cooling performance.

One area, which has been neglected by researchers, is fouling of evaporator and formicary corrosion. Known commonly as ant’s nest corrosion, champagne leaks, or just simply as formicary, the issue presents as a hard to detect leak within the fin pack of an evaporator coil. This tiny leak or set of leaks results in loss of system refrigerant over time. While the incidence of formicary corrosion is low nationwide, it is more prevalent in warm, humid climates found in southern portions of the United States where slimy biofilms coat the coil fins.

 WHAT CAUSES IT

The tunneling action that leads to corrosion is caused by the presence of organic acids mixed with moisture on the copper tube within the fin pack. Two common acids known to cause formicary corrosion are formic and acetic acids. Certain manufacturing oils and lubricants can contain compounds that form these organic acids, but common household items can also breakdown to form formic and acetic acids. These can include building materials like formaldehyde adhesives, foam insulation, and laminates, as well as personal hygiene products like cosmetics, disinfectants, deodorizers, and cleaning solvents. To initiate corrosion, the presence of water is necessary. The corrosion rate is aggravated by the presence of mold biofilm that keeps the fins wet.

 HOW TO REDUCE IT

Every technician will tell you that every time they look at these coils, they are dirty with mold biofilm. A standard part of routine A/C maintenance and residential commissioning is to clean the evaporator coil with a wire brush and detergent or other cleaning chemistry, and to clean the outdoor coil of leaves and other debris. Over the last 20 years, the simple use of appropriate germicidal UV light can prevent this and keep the coil clean and free of any biofilm buildup.

The presence of mold biofilm on cooling coil acts like a water sponge that keeps the fins constantly wet and sticky, which capture and retain particulates and chemical contaminants, thus enhancing the formic acid corrosion rate. When the biofilm is eliminated with an efficient germicidal UV system, the coil is not permanently wet, does not trap and retains as much contaminants, and consequently its corrosion rate is greatly reduced.

                                                                                     Buildup of mold biofilm in lower right hand corner completely blocks air flow

Coils normally foul due to bioaerosols and other biologically active materials, which are ubiquitous in hot climates. This usually also lead to significant indoor air quality problems that can trigger respiratory allergic responses of building occupants.

                                                                        Fungal biofilm growth on a residential (Left) and commercial (Right) cooling coil

The biofilm that causes evaporator fouling and its accelerated corrosion also impacts on the cooling performance and energy efficiency. Large commercial heating and cooling coils have the same problems and are prone to the same type of fouling and consequential corrosion issues. Their lifespan can also be increased notably by using an appropriate UV germicidal system that prevents mold buildup in hot and humid climate.

The first step to take to reduce the formicary corrosion due is to prevent the formation of a biofilm of molds and fungi with an adequate germicidal UV system. Biofilm-free fins will be less susceptible to retain dusts and potentially corrosive compounds, as well as the moisture that activates the corrosion effect.

References

Siegel, Jeffrey, I. Walker & M. Sherman. 2002. “Dirty Air Conditioners: Energy Implications of Coil Fouling” Submitted to the 2002 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

Siegel, Jeffrey A. and W.W. Nazaroff. 2002. “Modeling Particle Deposition on HVAC Heat Exchangers.” Submitted to the Indoor Air 2002 conference.

Siegel, Jeffrey and I.S. Walker. 2001. “Deposition of Biological Aerosols on HVAC Heat Exchangers.”

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Disinfecting Air & Reducing Ethylene in Cold Rooms

Disinfecting Air and Reducing Ethylene in Cold Rooms

Mold and bacteria can severely impact the quality of meat, chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables that may be stored or prepared in warehouses and cold rooms. Ethylene off-gassing causes fruits and vegetables to prematurely ripen and aged, dramatically shortening shelf-life.

Sanuvox UV IL-CoilCean systems installed facing the cooling coil are designed to bask the coil and air with ultraviolet energy destroying microorganisms including bacteria, mold and viruses while oxidizing and reducing ethylene off-gassing.

With its high efficiency patented air disinfection systems, Sanuvox offers the right solution when the objective is to destroy airborne bio-chemical contaminants (e.g. bacteria, viruses, mold) that may affect the storage and preparation of fish, chicken and meat, as well as destroy ethylene off-gassing that causes produce to ripen faster.

THE EQUIPMENT

Multi-IL CoilClean units are installed facing the cooling coils in the fan coil unit. Each IL unit includes a UV-C/UV-V lamp mounted in an anodized aluminum parabolic reflector. The ballast box incorporates LED status lights for providing lamp status and replacement and can be remotely monitored.

OPERATING THE EQUIPMENT

The fan coil unit recirculates the air where:
1. The UV-C germicidal section of the UV lamp destroys airborne biological contaminants (viruses, mold, bacteria and spores).
2. The UV-V oxidizing section of the UV lamp reduces ethylene, slowing down the ripening process of vegetables and fruits. Coils remain clean and more energy efficient.

SLOWING DOWN THE CONTAMINATION SPREAD WITH UV-C
Produce will degrade due to the rotting process that is caused by parasitic fungi and mold. Food deterioration begins with the breakdown of the cellular tissue by enzymatic action that allows the growth of microbes. Germicidal UV (UV-C) is extremely effective at preventing the reproduction of bio-contaminants because UV-C destroys airborne fungi, molds and spores, limiting the contamination spread from one fruit to another. Meat, fish and chicken are especially vulnerable to airborne biocontamination. UV-C sterilizes the air, destroying contaminants as they circulate within the cold room.

RETARDING THE RIPENING PROCESS WITH UV-V
Photo-oxidation with UV-V can be used to reduce chemicals that trigger the ripening of fruits and vegetables. The life stages of a plant are influenced by plant hormones. An organic compound involved with ripening is ethylene, a gas created by plants from the amino acid, methionine. Ethylene increases the intracellular levels of certain enzymes in fruit and fresh-cut products, which include:

  • Amylase, which hydrolyzes starch to produce simple sugars.
  • Pectinase, which hydrolyzes pectin, a substance that keeps fruit hard.

UV-V oxidizes and thus neutralizes the ethylene molecules released by the ripening process, slowing down the spread of ripening to the surrounding produce. This oxidation process breaks down ethylene into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
Ethylene C2H4 C2H4+ O* -> CO2 +H2O

WHERE TO INSTALL

Many buildings and facilities can be equipped with the IL-CoilCean systems, like cold storage rooms, groceries, meat, fish and chicken storage, preparation facilities, fruit and vegetable retailers, warehousing and transportation.

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Fruits & Vegetables Surface Disinfection

Fruits and Vegetables Surface Disinfection

Surface contamination of fruits and vegetables is a problem for growers, distributors and retailers. Mold and bacteria can have severe effects causing produce to spoil.

Sanuvox UV IL Food Safe purifiers for food products and their packaging are exceptionally safe and versatile disinfection systems for surface, packaging and conveyor applications designed to bask meat, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, baked goods and packaging with UV-C germicidal light. The UV system is extremely effective at destroying surface contamination while extending product shelf-life. Only a few seconds of exposure can achieve up to 99.9999% destruction of common biological contaminants that are problematic in the food industry.

Incorporate the UV fixtures into the production line (i.e. over the conveyor belts) to bask the products and surfaces prior to packaging, maintening a sterile product ready for distribution and consumption.

As the system is incorporated into the production line, the lamps are covered with Teflon, that will trap pieces of grlass in the event of breakage.

When the objective is to prevent and destroy microbial contamination, such as bacteria and fungi that occur naturally on fruit and vegetable surfaces, and are responsible for premature decay, Sanuvox offers the right solution with its high efficiency patented air purification system. The process will leave no residue as is found using chlorine or irradiation treatments with gamma rays. At the producer level, sterilization of fruits and vegetables could reduce the use of pesticides.

THE EQUIPMENT

IL Food Safe purifier for food products equipped with parabolic reflectors and Teflon coated lamps will be positioned equidistant across the conveyor, parallel to it. Computerized sizing programs taking into account the speed of the conveyor and the contaminant(s) to be treated will determine the size of the lamps.

Typical installation:

OPERATING THE EQUIPMENT

The end user will determine the location and design of the lamp assembly enclosure that will attach to
the conveyor guaranteeing there is no direct UV exposure to employees. Fruits and/or vegetables will be exposed for a predetermined period of time to UV light as they move through the enclosure on the conveyor. This predetermined time will be sufficient to sterilize the fruit and/or vegetable pathogens and slow down ripening process.

RESEARCH ON STRAWBERRIES
Researchers from the Department of Food, Science and Nutrition (Laval University, Quebec, Canada) demonstrated that exposing strawberries to ultraviolet light prolongs their shelf life. Freshly picked strawberries exposed to germicidal ultraviolet (UV-C) have retained their freshness for 14 to 15 days, while untreated freshly picked strawberries were “almost done” on the tenth day.

The conclusions from this research have been published in the Food Science Journal. Refrigeration, which slows the growth of microorganisms and fruit ripening, allows a limited but effective mean regarding conservation of strawberries.

“Exposure to UV-C is a very interesting approach to facilitate the marketing and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables”, says researcher Joseph Arul. This treatment slows the ripening of strawberries: they remain firm longer, their respiratory rate is lower, their color is more attractive and the taste is not altered. “It is believed that exposure to UV-C would kill some mold on the surface of the fruit or, more likely, the treatment would stimulate the defense mechanisms of the produce,” suggests the researcher.

Arul’s team has already demonstrated the benefits of UV-C exposure for the conservation of carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and blueberries.

Arul does not anticipate negative reactions from consumers, unlike gamma irradiated food, or more recently, genetically modified organisms. “The technique is more acceptable to a consumer. In low doses, UV is beneficial. It is a light source and I do not think people have problems with that.”

WHERE TO INSTALL

Many facilities can be equipped with the IL Food Safe, like vegetable growers, fruit and vegetable importers, hydroponic producers, and value-added packagers.

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