restaurant kitchen odor

Creating an Inviting Atmosphere: Restaurant Kitchen Odor Control Made Easy

Are odors impacting your restaurant’s ambiance? Unpleasant odors can quickly diminish the dining experience for your customers. Discover effective strategies for maintaining fresh and clean air in your restaurant kitchen. 

In this article, we will explore essential odor control strategies that will help you create a pleasant and inviting atmosphere. From understanding the source of odors to implementing advanced filtration systems, learn how to combat unwanted smells and ensure a delightful dining experience for your patrons.

Smell or Odor: Understanding the Scents

The sense of smell plays a vital role in how humans and animals perceive the world around them. It allows us to detect and interpret the molecules present in the air. However, the process behind our sense of smell is quite complex.

When we encounter a scent, specialized receptor cells in our nose react to the molecules that land on their surface. It’s important to note that most smells are not caused by a single chemical but rather by a combination of different molecules in the air. For instance, household waste or cooking smells from various molecules interacting together.

Pleasant, Unpleasant, and Irritant Odors

Scents can be either pleasant or unpleasant. When we refer to unpleasant smells, we often use the term “odor.” The perception of a particular scent or odor can vary depending on factors such as our prior experiences, the current environment, and our expectations. For example, the scent of jasmine or lavender in a spa environment is often soothing and relaxing. At the same time, the smells emanating from cooking, restrooms, drains, or spoiled food near a restaurant are typically deemed unacceptable.

Some molecules classified as irritants create unpleasant odors and negatively affect the human body. A typical example is the activation of tear ducts when chopping onions. In urban areas, gasses like nitrogen dioxide and ozone act as irritants and contribute to respiratory diseases. In extreme cases, specific molecules can be toxic, leading to fatalities when present in critical concentrations.

It’s essential to recognize that all airborne molecules are tiny. When inhaled, they travel through our respiratory system, passing through the lungs and spreading throughout the body, even reaching vital organs. Controlling odors, especially in restaurant kitchens, is one of the many critical applications of molecular filtration.

Identifying the Source of Odors

Restaurants face the challenge of dealing with various odors contributing to air pollution. Odors are a significant source of air pollution in restaurant and food court environments, and the specific odor profile in a kitchen depends on factors such as:

  • Ingredients used: Onions, garlic, spices, and other ingredients contribute to the overall odor.
  • Type of food being cooked: Different foods like hamburgers, pizzas, and steaks have distinct odors.
  • Cooking methods: Grilling, barbecuing, boiling, and other cooking techniques can affect odor emissions.

Kitchen emissions comprise various particle sizes, including coarse to fine smoke, oil, grease aerosols, and molecular pollutants. While molecular pollutants primarily cause odors, fine particles and aerosols can trigger an odor response if they reach the nasal receptor cells. Olfactometry, a recognized method standardized in Europe (EN13725), measures the characteristics and strength of smells or odors.

restaurant kitchen

Implementing an Effective Odor Control Solution

An efficient kitchen exhaust filtration system based on molecular filtration is essential to eliminate unpleasant odors from indoor air. The kitchen ventilation system should be designed to prevent condensation within the exhaust duct before reaching the air filters.

To ensure optimal performance in controlling odors and maintaining a clean and safe kitchen environment, a comprehensive kitchen exhaust filtration system should include the following components:

Grease Filtration

Positioned near the cooking range, grease filters are typically installed in the canopy. Their primary purpose is to capture grease particles. This helps ensure hygiene within the ventilation duct, prevent fire hazards, and safeguard downstream particulate filters. Regular and thorough grease filter cleaning is vital for proper functioning.


It is crucial to have mandatory pre-filtration in place. Experts should determine the specific level of pre-filtration required after carefully evaluating and investigating the kitchen’s needs.

Fine Filtration

An appropriate fine filtration level is essential to effectively capture smoke particles and fine aerosols. Experts should evaluate the kitchen environment and recommend the minimum fine filtration level necessary to maintain air quality.

Molecular Filtration

A high-quality broad-spectrum adsorption media should be used in a leak-free installation for effective odor elimination. This molecular filtration component ensures the removal of odor-causing molecules by providing sufficient contact time. Expert guidance should be sought to determine the appropriate molecular filtration solution for each kitchen setup.

By incorporating these key components into the kitchen exhaust filtration system, restaurants can significantly improve indoor air quality, enhance hygiene standards, and create a more pleasant dining experience for customers.

restaurant kitchen odor

Filtration System Maintenance and Hygiene Standards

Restaurants planning to reopen after a temporary shutdown or halt should take the following steps to ensure optimal performance of their filtration system and maintain hygiene levels:

Pre-Filter Replacement

If pre-filters have been in use for an extended period before the lockdown (e.g., one month or more), it is recommended to replace all pre-filters. Over time, organic food particles and grease contamination can create a favorable environment for microorganisms like bacteria, mold, and fungus to thrive.

Molecular Filter Inspection

Physically inspect the molecular filters and assess their cleanliness and condition. If they appear clean and functioning normally, they can continue to be used. However, if contamination is observed, it is crucial to replace them to ensure effective odor control.

The efficiency of a molecular filter for odor control can be evaluated using olfactometry, following the guidelines specified in EN13725. 

By following these maintenance steps and seeking expert guidance, restaurants can uphold the efficiency of their filtration system, ensure a high level of hygiene, and effectively control odors in their facilities.

Don’t compromise on air quality and cleanliness in your restaurant. Keep odors at bay and uphold hygiene standards. Schedule a call with us today.

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