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When it comes to walk-in freezers and coolers, no matter how sophisticated the mechanical refrigeration systems or how well maintained, those who are responsible for such units always fret a bit about product integrity, especially if it is a food product. The issues relate to the possibility of mold, fungal spores, bacteria, and ethylene gas and acids. The latest mechanical technologies are designed to deal with such issues along with the need for proper installation and servicing.
|This passive filter is designed to deal with food integrity issues in freezers and coolers.|
Now a new product has entered the refrigeration market designed to further deal with food integrity issues in freezers and coolers. It is a passive filter called Filtirite™ developed by Dr. Joseph Caudle and manufactured by AirSciences International Inc. of Tampa, Florida.
In a telephone interview, Caudle talked about the filters, which have been improved with a new mineral formula in the past few months. Caudle received a patent on his proprietary filter technology in April 2014. While previous versions of the AirSciences filters are now in restaurants, food warehouses, and amusement park locations in seven states (including Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, for the past six years), AirSciences is now seeking to make a stronger push into the refrigeration sector with its new formula. Air conditioning systems are also a target.
Speaking of the filters, Caudle said, “These filters hang inside the freezer, cooler, or air conditioning plenum. They attract excess humidity and air pollutants, including bacteria, fungal spores, viruses, gaseous molecules such as ethylene gas and acids, as well as odors. The initial key to our filters’ effectiveness is to prevent the dew point from occurring in refrigerators and freezers. Just as the relative humidity approaches 100 percent, the mineral matrix adsorbs enough additional humidity to keep the dew point from occurring. The filters keep refrigerators dry and freezers free of ice.” He added that the filters can “reduce refrigeration compressor run time by keeping humidity lower. Contractors will see their units run dryer. In freezers you may be able to reduce the number of defrost cycles per day.”
How the Filters Work
At the company’s website (www.airsciences.us) it says, “The filters attract microscopic air pollutants, including a broad variety of spores, bacteria, hyphal fragments, insect fragments, and other particulate air pollutants into the mineral structure. Since these filters are passive, they can adsorb the very smallest (and most dangerous) air pollutant particles.
“In refrigerators, operating temperatures (at the same thermostat setting) are reduced an average of 2-4°F. The relative humidity is reduced so that it almost never reaches 100 percent, meaning that condensation is not formed. As a result, the refrigerator runs dry; the compressor runs only 50-60 percent of its previous run time, saving large amounts of electricity.”
For freezers, the site references a study done at the Volusia County (Florida) Schools. “The freezers liked the effect of the filters. They decreased from an average of 3.83°F to -1.35°, or a 5.18° improvement, while the average daily outside temperature was rising 3.5°. All odors, freezer burn, and surface ice were eliminated.” Caudle added that further test results not yet reflected on the website indicate an average 10-12°F temperature reduction in freezers: “Recently, a large freezer at Nu Vista Foods Group in Tampa fell from 5°F to -22°F in four weeks, requiring a large thermostat adjustment,” he said.
Caudle said the filters are mineral-based. For contractors, an aftermarket version of the filters can be sent to contractors periodically to provide for their clients’ walk-in units. The filters must be changed out monthly. AirSciences provides reminder texts to clients on the first of each month to assist with change-outs. It was noted that an Internet sales group in Michigan which works with food service franchisers plans to offer the filter as a “value added.”
“Our subscriptions and leases are normally month-to-month,” Caudle pointed out.
Caudle also said AirSciences is seeking to work with OEMs for his patented automated filtration system called the “Temperature Pump,” to be manufactured as part of their reach-in freezers, coolers, and air conditioning equipment. The Temperature Pump removes humidity and pollutants from these systems, above and beyond what other filters remove, with no air loss, Caudle said.