Food and Beverage

Compressed air is widely used in the food and beverage industry because it makes processing faster and more efficient. At ACL Engineering we have broad experience in the industry and can advise on choice of systems, and also repair and maintain them.

Food and beverage safety standards

Contamination is a primary concern in the food and beverage processing industry. Micro-organisms and other contaminants such as oil aerosols and vapours, and particulates such as dust, dirt and fungus spores can spread through food handling machinery to the food itself.

Compressed air can exacerbate this, so their use is regulated in UK Food processing.

Compressed air systems for Food-Grade Air is classified in three specific types:

  1. Contact Systems
    Systems where compressed air comes into direct contact with food products e.g. air knives. Steps must be taken to purify the air so that no microorganisms can grow. This can be achieved by using desiccant (adsorption) compressed air dryers in the compressor room and maintaining a -40 F (-40 C) pressure dewpoint.
  2. Non-Contact High-Risk Systems
    Systems where compressed air is exhausted into the local atmosphere of the food handling area create a high risk that moisture, oil and particulates could be present on the packaging. The UK Code requires the manufacturer to implement the same purification measures as those required for Contact systems.
  3. Non-Contact Low-Risk Systems
    Systems that have no contact with food products or food-packaging machinery. In these instances, the UK Code specifies a +37 F (+3 C) pressure dew point, which can be achieved with refrigerated compressed air dryers housed in the compressor room.
Guaranteed total air purity in food and beverage processing

Superior oil-free air compressors

Only oil-free air compressors can guarantee total air purity to the stands required in food and beverage processing, eliminating the risk of oil vapour and residue. Further purification is provided by desiccant air dryers and the appropriate filters.

Setting the industry benchmark for air purity

Atlas Copco is a pioneer in oil-free compressor technology and have set the industry standard being the first to achieve  ISO 8573-1 (2010) Class 0 clean air – the most stringent classification.


We are experts in air compressors and dryers for food and beverage production