AiroFresh® air purification in cheese maturation facilities

PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE USE OF AIROFRESH UNITS IN CHILLED CHEESE MATURATION FACILITIES

Two AiroFresh® 1000 units were installed in a ~ 170m3 maturation room that is used to mature blue cheese.  The room was emptied and thoroughly cleaned before use.  The cheese was then loaded back into the room.  The cheese is stored on stainless steel hurdles. The room temperature is controlled and the air humidity is very nearly saturated.  As fresh cheese is made it is loaded into the room where partially matured cheese is located.  After the required maturation time cheese is removed.  Thus, the room is regularly opened and closed as fresh cheese comes in and matured cheese goes out.

Testing of the units was via air sampling and air plates.  Air sampling involves using an apparatus to suck in a known volume of air and capturing the microorganisms present in the air onto an agar plate.  Air plates involve leaving agar plates open in the maturation room for a fixed time.  In both cases, the plates were then incubated in our laboratory and the microorganisms counted.  Once a steady state was found the AiroFresh® 1000 units would be removed to see what happened to the count.  The results are recorded as Colony Forming Units (CFU)/time-period or air volume