The presence of moisture and humidity in any part of the food production cycle can mean the difference between a product being safe and fresh versus unsafe and spoiled. Moisture often leads to the growth of bacteria, mildew, or mold. Condensation on cold products also creates moisture risks when storing food. Fortunately, these risks can be easily mitigated by using temperature control technology and dehumidification systems.
Maintaining a clean production, storage, and/or processing facility is considered one of the best ways to keep food hygienic and free of contaminants. However, lowering the levels of moisture in the air through the use of dehumidifiers is also a key – though often understated – component to maintaining food product purity. Dehumidifiers are also cost effective, as they keep food fresh for longer and provide a positive brand image for consumers when they purchase consistently high quality products.
Benefits of Dehumidification
Dehumidifiers in the food industry serve many purposes, which all have the same focus in mind: Meeting the highest standards of food production, processing, and storage for food products. Dehumidifiers offer the following benefits for manufacturers and distributors of food products:
- Faster Drying
When a food manufacturing environment is uncontrolled, humidity (both high & low) and other variables can significantly impact the time it takes to move products to market—especially in food applications that require products to be cured or dried. By controlling this process, production rates can be significantly reduced from weeks to days (or in some cases, even minutes). Streamlining production capacity enables food manufacturers to scale production to meet increases in demand.
- Higher Quality
Moisture can have a severe impact on the production and storage of food products. Products maintain their highest level of quality and reach their shelf life only when humidity is controlled throughout all production and storage processes. By controlling moisture levels in facilities with dehumidifiers and temperature control technology, the result is an improved overall quality of product.
- Uniform Production
When temperatures and humidity levels are carefully controlled, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is—production processes should remain the same without any need for seasonal adjustments. No matter the external conditions, the consumer will always get the same product at the same quality.
- Product Purity
When condensation builds up on production equipment or organic materials (such as food products), the risk of contamination by mold, mildew, or microorganisms increases exponentially causing illness to users. When dehumidifiers are used to carefully control exposure to humidity, condensation is kept within proper range which ensures product purity.
There are a wide range of applications for dehumidifiers in the food industry, such as:
Controlling humidity levels is crucial in large-scale baking operations, where flours, grains, and other products, hygroscopic in nature, may clump when exposed to condensation or moisture.
Dehumidifiers have a wide range of uses in indoor farming and greenhouse operations, where maintaining optimal humidity is key to maintaining efficient growth windows and avoiding problems such as mold and mildew. With proper humidity levels, temperature control and state of the art grow lighting, “Mother Nature’s” best days can be duplicated everyday indoors.
- Dating and Packaging
Food packaging operations must control humidity levels to ensure that moisture doesn’t get trapped inside packaging, which diminish product quality and could substantially decrease the shelf life of the product.
Condensation can cause corrosion or flow blockages in a wide range of machinery types used in all areas of food production. Maintaining optimal humidity levels will ensure longer equipment life and better functionality with less down-time.
- Storage of Goods
In refrigerated or frozen storage applications, too much condensation can cause damage to frozen foods. Humidity levels must be controlled to avoid product loss due to freezer burn.
- Product Integrity
In many applications, inadvertent moisture exposure can ultimately ruin the final product. When chocolate absorbs too much moisture before it is wrapped and packaged, for example, the product doesn’t present well and may spoil within days of packaging.
Working With DCA
Without proper temperature and humidity control in your facility, the quality of products cannot be guaranteed. By regulating these environmental factors with dehumidifiers, consumers are delivered fresh food products with the longest shelf life possible, and both companies and consumers reap the benefits.
At Dehumidifier Corporation of America, we understand the importance of dehumidifiers in the food industry and offer our customers the highest quality technology to suit their needs. To learn more about how dehumidification can improve your processes and products, please contact us.
Topics: Dehumidification Strategies