Here are two reasons why air cannons are useful in food factories.
Air cannons can reduce the time it takes to wash raw ingredients
One of the surprising benefits that many food factory owners notice when they get air cannons is that this equipment cuts down on the time it takes their employees to wash the raw vegetables and fruits they use to make their food products.
Whilst this is in no way the primary purpose of an air cannon, it is a nice side effect of using it in a food factory. When, for example, dusty, unwashed apples are transported in a chute that has an air cannon connected to it, the air cannon will usually blast a lot of the dirt and dust off the apples' surfaces. When this fruit then arrives at the factory area where it is rinsed, it can take less time for the employees doing this task to wash any dirty residue off the apples.
As such, although air cannons should not be used in place of washing equipment, they can speed up this part of the food product preparation process and in doing so, can help factory owners run their operations more efficiently.
Air cannons can prevent food from rotting inside a factory's chute system
Another reason why this equipment is very useful in a food factory is that it could potentially stop food debris from getting stuck in and then rotting inside the chute system. When food ingredients are transported through chutes that do not have air cannons that keep everything moving, bits of them may break off during transit (things like chunks of soft fruits, pieces of cereal, etc.).
This food debris can become mouldy and rotten as a result of being left in the chutes. This mould and bacteria may then contaminate any fresh food that travels through these chutes afterward, which might mean the factory owner has to throw it away.
However, if a factory owner has air cannons in their chutes, then they do not need to be as concerned about this, as the air jet from their equipment will push bits of debris out of the chutes before there is any time for it to begin causing sanitation issues. This, in turn, should reduce the number of times per year that the owner has to arrange for the chutes' interiors to be emptied out and fully disinfected.