Food Production Humidity Control

Discover how effective humidity control can maximise your food production year round

Engineered for efficiency, built to last.

Why humidity control is so important in food production

Air humidity control is an essential and yet often overlooked quality factor within food production facilities. The control of humidity within production spaces can lead to higher levels of hygiene along with the potential for maximising production levels and achieving product consistency all year round.

High humidity leads to exponentially high potential for bacterial growth.

The risk for bacterial contamination within food production areas presents challenges and risk to producers especially in high care areas. Desiccant dehumidifiers have the ability to operate across a broad temperature range making them uniquely placed to provide accurate humidity control within production areas. This results in minimising the risk of bacterial growth and condensation. In addition, our systems help reduce drying times of areas following washdowns

Maintain consistent product quality, maximise production.

High humidity can often lead to variances in product quality and production capacity. During the summer months when moisture loads are at their peak many manufacturers experience a drop in production levels and product quality. By controlling the humidity within production areas specifically those that handle hygroscopic materials you can ensure that capacity and quality are maximised regardless of the time of year.

The benefits of humidity control at the packaging and labelling stage.

Packaging and labelling of products are greatly affected in high humidity areas. Cardboard packaging degrades above 55% relative humidity. Above 80% relative humidity provides the perfect environment for the growth of mould and mildew to form on products and packaging. Adhesives used in the labelling process also degrade with the quality of adhesion to surfaces being negatively affected.

Examples of food and drink processes that benefit from humidity control

Condensation on cold surfaces and the formation of bacteria can be prevented this is achieved by maintaining the moisture in the surrounding air at a dewpoint below that of cold surfaces such as tanks and exposed pipework.

In many cases the capacity of fluidized bed dryers can be increased with the use of a desiccant dehumidifier. The use of a desiccant dehumidification system will enable producers to control the condition of the supply air being fed into a fluidized bed dryer. By maintaining this air at a constant optimal moisture level, it ensures maximum production output can be achieved regardless of outdoor weather and seasons.

  • Maintaining the ideal humidity in storage areas will help to prevent finished and packed food products from soaking up moisture and losing quality.
  • To eliminate the risk of cardboard cartons being destroyed by condensation and moisture storage rooms should be controlled at below 55% relative humidity.

Frost on the ice cream and its packaging can be prevented by controlling the humidity from the freezer to the packaging area. If possible, the use of enclosed, dehumidified conveyor lines is recommended as this minimises the size of the humidity control equipment and associated running costs.

  • Dairy factories often suffer with high humidity and condensation issues. One common issue is labels falling off cartons due to the fact the glue will not stick in the high humidity environment or on wet surfaces.
  • Cheese packaging that utilises waxed envelopes can also experience issues with mould growth on the outside of the waxed surface this in many cases can also lead to the cheese inside being ruined.

Maintaining flavours of food products during drying and curing processes are often temperature sensitive. Desiccant dehumidifiers can enable you to consistently dry products at lower temperatures ensuring optimal drying times are achieved without loss of product quality.

Frost inside spiral-freezers or other types of freezers can be minimized with desiccant dehumidification systems this can be achieved by controlling the moisture content of the air at both the inlet and outlet of the freezer. As a result, periods between defrost cycles can be maximised with the final frozen product looking much fresher with less damage resulting once the product is thawed for use.

In meat processing, large amounts of water is used for cleaning which can create undesirable moisture in premises that may result into condensation. Dehumidifying the room with a desiccant dehumidifier will improve hygiene and safety and prevent the formation of mould and bacteria.

Optimal humidity control points by application.

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
COOLING OF FRESH MEAT
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
90-92
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 2 TO PLUS 1

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
BLAST FREEZING
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
90-95
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 23 – 30

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
FREEZING OF MEAT IN SEMI-CARCASSES
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
90-92
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 23 TO 35

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
FREEZING OF MEAT AND OFFAL IN BLOCKS
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
90%
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 23 TO 27

Storage of unpacked meat:

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
SHORT TERM STORAGE
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
85-90
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 12

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
LONG TERM STORAGE
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
85-90
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 18

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
STORAGE OF MEAT AND OFFAL IN BLOCKS
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
85-90
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 18

STAGES OF PRODUCTION / STORAGE
STORAGE OF CHILLED MEAT
IDEAL RELATIVE HUMIDITY %RH
85-90
IDEAL TEMPERATURE °Cdb
MINUS 2 TO 0