Filtration upgrades keep this labratory odorless.
Pure, odorless air is something we all seek, but at a flavor testing laboratory it’s a necessity. The hvac system in Swiss-based Givaudan’s East Hanover, N.J. required 100% outside air free of odors and particulate. It also had to be dehumidified in the summer and humidified in the winter.

The $1.5 million, two-story, 5,000-sq.-ft. addition is one of dozens of plants owned by this company on six continents.

Besides guaranteed odor elimination, consulting engineer Thomas Fitzpatrick III, PE, Fitzpatrick Associates, also had space limitations. Specifying a single package unit not only eliminated the need to install and interface several pieces of dedicated equipment, but also gave the equipment a smaller, visually more appealing footprint on the plant’s roof.

The vital function of the hvac system wound up in specifying a Dectron Circul-Aire Model RK-015 unit. The factory-installed purification modules is V-shaped to allow air to pass easily through its three filtering stages: 1) a two-in. thick paper type 30% pre-filter; 2) chemical media consisting of specialized pellets; 3) four-in. thick paper type 65% paper filter. “I chose this type of filtration over ionization or other electronic types because this is tried and true, simpler, and requires lower maintenance,” said Fitzpatrick.

The hvac package brings in 100% outside air and purifies it before introducing it to the sample preparation area. A glass window separates the prep room from the evaluation area, which is a purified air environment where sensory experts from Givaudan beverage and health product clients taste samples in a pure air environment. “It’s of the ultimate importance that these special sensory evaluators not be distracted either by background odors, sounds or even visual disturbances when they’re smelling flavors,” said a Givaudan spokesperson.

According to the client’s wishes and as an added precaution for guaranteed odor-free air, the space has no return air and is 100% exhausted. Fitzpatrick specified the unit to provide 1,000 cfm and designed the room to exhaust approximately 980 cfm. Fras-Air Contracting Inc., a 27-year-old Manville, N.J.-based mechanical contractor, installed the equipment and balanced the job for positive pressure.

Dectron equipment gives flavor evaluators an odorless environment to work in.