Food Production and Steam!

Steam is an essential part of the food industry, both as a source of heat for food production and equipment decontamination. The hygienic quality of the steam, particularly if it comes into direct contact with food is critical. This is also the case with regards to components which will be introduced to the food either during the production process or as the final product – such as packaging.

This requirements for high quality steam may require additional steps to be taken to ensure the plant steam from the boiler is suitable to come into contact the food being produced. This can be achieved using fine stainless steel filters which the steam passes through to remove any entrained particles resulting in culinary (filtered) steam.

The steam system can contribute more to the process alongside the production of food and the sterilisation tools and equipment, with the boilers also being used for heating within the factory buildings.

By maintaining the system water in line with BG04 you will minimise the possibility of scaling and corrosion around the steam and condensate system. Without correct treatment gases within the water such as carbon dioxide and oxygen can cause severe corrosion within steam/condensate pipework and boilers.

Carryover, a process by which water from the boiler is carried over with the steam, can contaminate the steam and condensate system.  This is usually caused by high levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the boiler, excessive water treatment chemicals, contamination of boiler water from other areas of the process, and high alkalinity – most relating to poor control of the water treatment.

This can result in corrosion products precipitating out which will form deposits that can contaminate steam supplies in any area where steam may be used – and the carried over water from the boiler systems will also result in contamination in any area the steam encounters, which could then ultimately contaminate the final product.

So, to ensure the quality of the food and packaging along with the efficient operation of your steam system, maintain your boiler water system in line with BG04 and manufacturers guidelines!

Contact [email protected] for further details.