Humidity Control In Food Industry

Dec 28, 2020Blogs

Humidity which is generally expressed as relative humidity (RH) is the measure of amount of water vapor present in the air. Food being one of the major reasons affecting the human health and well being, it becomes paramount to ensure that it is produced and stored in an environment that is safe and hygienic. Alterations in the quality of food caused by environments having inappropriate humidity levels can ultimately lead to deterioration in customer experience and also cause negative impact on human health.

Food has to be stored in relatively low temperature surroundings. This gives rise to greater temperature difference between outside and indoor environment, which leads to emergence of high humidity conditions. High humidity has many adverse effects on different aspects in the Food Industry such as production, packaging, storage etc.

Industries that require Dehumidification

BAKERIES

Maintaining optimal humidity levels is crucial in the storage areas for handling goods that are baked or are stored for baking in the future. Excessive humidity can cause food items such as crusts to lose its crispiness. It can also hinder the dough drying process which is necessary for pasta. Humid conditions also promote mold growth which will hamper the quality of food products.

During the baking process moisture content plays a vital role in determining the standard of your baked goods. Alterations in moisture content lead to changes in baking time required to acquire the end result having an ideal blend of crispiness and softness.

High humidity corresponds to longer baking times, as more moisture is absorbed by the ingredients, also gluten coagulation in the dough slows down.

Dehumidifiers therefore help in the entire baking process by maintaining the required humidity levels to obtain food products having standard quality thus ensuring customer satisfaction.

BREWERIES

In a brewery yeast is a useful fungus as it turns the natural sugars into alcohol. However uncontrolled humidity conditions result in growth of microbes and fungus in place of yeast which will muddle the brewing process. This growth of mold and fungus will also affect the hygiene of the place.

Brewing requires low temperatures which can lead to condensation on tanks containing beer. Utilization of large amount of water in breweries coupled with the temperature requirements makes perfect condition for microbial growth and condensation.

Dehumidification can be done to tackle problems such as mold and mildew growth, sanitary issues and condensation on the tanks, walls and ceilings.

Temperature and Humidity requirements in Breweries:

AREA

TEMP (° C)% RH
Hops Storage245-55
Fermentation rooms12-1840-45
Filtration rooms 12-1640-45
Grains storage 1635-40
Kegging Areas12-1640-45

CONFECTIONARY

Confectionary Industry making products such as cookies, candies, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, toffees etc have to ensure standard quality of these products. Physical appearance is of paramount importance for these. Excessive moisture conditions can lead to condensation on the product surface and also on the equipment used for producing the same. Mould heads of moulding machines also have to be kept free from condensation caused due to high humidity.

Sugar bloom is one of the common issues that chocolate Industries come across. It is the formation of a grayish white film on the surface of the product. Due to high humidity, dissolution of some of the sugar particles occurs because of the formation of moisture film on the surface. These sugar particles after dissolving in chocolate crystallize after drying. The appearance of products is largely affected by this making it look unappealing.

Storage areas of such products also need to have controlled humidity to prevent the damage to packaging as well as the products inside it. Chocolates and similar products lose their glaze finish and look unappetizing. Candies affected by moisture turn sticky and difficult to remove from wrappers. Ingredients such as sugars, starches and powders form lumps or cakes by adsorbing moisture from air.

Dehumidifiers assist you in keeping your products safe ensuring blissful customer experience.

Temperature and Humidity requirements for some confectionary items:

AREATEMP (° C)% RH
Candy Tablet Manufacturing /storage 1840
Chocolate coating18-2440-45
Chocolate covered peanuts  18-2040-45
Chocolate  storage -18 – (-1)40

SEAFOOD

Seafood like shrimp is largely exported and India is one of the top exporters of shrimp in the world. Export customers from US and Europe have very stringent quality standards. As a result it becomes important to keep the quality of the exported food intact and up to the standards.

Controlled humidity plays a prominent role in ensuring that the products are not damaged. In seafood Industry dehumidification is required in areas such as processing area, packing area, storage area  and ante-room (this is the space between the freezer and outside, having temperature between 5 – 10 ° C). Large amount of water is used in this Industry for sanitation purposes. After sanitation is done the area needs to be free of water vapor to avoid condensation due to high humidity.

Individually quick frozen (IQF) process is used for freezing the shrimps by spreading them out in the processing area. High humidity can lead to condensation on the walls and ceilings of the rooms. If a drop of such water with microbial load were to fall on the conveyer belt below, it can result in rejection of entire export batch.

Dehumidifiers act as a helping hand in dealing with such a situation, thereby increasing productivity and reducing the number of rejects.

SPICES AND SEASONING

Spices play a very vital role in adding flavor to our dishes. Spices are hygroscopic in nature and thus high humidity levels are a threat to them. They absorb moisture if kept in high moisture environments. This ultimately results into caking and lumping. Absorption of moisture results in change in weight and also flavor.

Humidity also promotes mold and mildew growth in the processing as well as storage and packing areas. If moisture is absorbed by powders it becomes difficult to pack them as they become sticky. Mold growth also results into production of mycotoxins which are genotoxic, carcinogenic and can also lead to food borne illnesses.

Spices and herb need to be stored in environments having optimal humidity levels according to their nature. For instance spices like black pepper that naturally release moisture should not be stored with spices which are at a high risk of being affected by moisture.

Dehumidifiers maintain optimal humidity levels and prevent the degradation of quality of the products. They keep the air crisp and dry which prevents caking and lumping making the entire process smooth and highly efficient. It also ensures customer satisfaction. 

 

Temperature and Humidity requirements for some spices:

SpiceTEMP (° C)% RH
Cardamom28°C30 – 35%
Dry Garlic0°C65 – 70%
Dry Onion10 – 20°C50 – 55%
Cinnamon15°C40%
Chillies45 – 50°C18 – 20%

Our Solution

Our compact and Industrial Dehumidifiers help in maintain ideal RH levels in Industries such as Bakery, Confectionary, Breweries, Beverages, Dairy, Spices, seafood etc. and maintain the quality of air indoors.

All of these applications require maintaining optimal humidity levels in various areas such as :

  • STORAGE
  • DRYING
  • MIXING
  • PROCESSING
  • PACKING
  • COATING

Dehumidifiers are easy to use devices and give prominent results. Advantage of using Dehumidifier over Air conditioner is that Dehumidifiers help us in controlling moisture levels without bringing significant drop in temperature whereas an Air conditioner will also help in controlling moisture levels but with a large drop in temperature. Thus using Dehumidifier is a better and feasible alternative as it also assists in cutting energy costs.

Advantages Dehumidifier offers in Food Industry:

  • Increases production efficiency
  • Decreases downtime
  • Reduces the number of rejects
  • Ensured standard quality products
  • Improves workers productivity
  • Prevents condensation damage
  • Energy savings
  • Reduces overall cost
  • Keep surroundings safe from mold growth

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