Champion Petfoods clears the air in Morinville
By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Those who live, work and shop in Morinville breathed a sigh of relief this week after Champion Petfoods activated a new $500,000 Plasma-Injector system on both its Morinville plants, a high-tech industrial odour control system that the company believes will significantly eliminate the smell created by the plant’s cooking process.
The new equipment, manufactured by Abbotsford-based UNIQAIR Technologies, uses plasma reactors to radiate air, dissociating the oxygen and water vapour molecules, rendering them far less noticeable to the nose.
But while residents are undoubtedly pleased with the plant’s decision to install the new equipment – part of its move to be a better corporate citizen – none were any more pleased than Mathew Haun, a Grade 4 student at Notre Dame Elementary School. Haun was given the distinct honour of ceremonially throwing the switch on the new gear June 11.
“I think it’s amazing,” Haun said of the new equipment. “It’ll stop the smell that’s odouring Morinville.”
Haun and his class were the first students ever to be given a tour of the Morinville plant last March. During the tour Haun asked Plant Manager Henry Van de Vliert and Marketing Manager Peter Muhlenfeld why the plant gave off such a smell.
Both men explained to the students that the odour was unique to the production of their pet food and what they and other residents of Morinville smelled was the cooking of the fresh ingredients the company uses in its award-winning products.
Muhlenfeld explained that the moisture content in meat is 60 to 70 per cent, and that Champion’s manufacturing process reduces the moisture content down to about 10 per cent.
Although plans to install the new equipment were well under way when the Notre Dame students visited the plant three months ago, the company decided to let their most inquisitive visitor play a hands-on role in the official unveiling. It was an opportunity that Haun’s classmates were also enthusiastic about.
“They think it was a great opportunity for me to come hear and flick the switch,” he said.
Besides purifying the air, the company said the new plasma injector system uses no chemicals, creates no waste by-products and does not consume a lot of energy.
“We’re making a positive investment in the community in which we live and work,” Muhlenfeld said. “We are part of this community and we want to have a positive impact on our neighbours.”
Morinville Deputy Mayor Paul Krauskopf was on hand for the unveiling and noted that even standing on the plant grounds, he could no longer smell the odour.