In the confectionery industry the quality of the finished product is paramount. Close control of air humidity during the various manufacturing processes is considered essential to maintaining high standards.
Fat blooming and sugar blooming are two common problems when manufacturing and storing chocolate. Both kinds of blooming can occur a few hours after production, and during storage if the ambient air is too humid. The relative humidity (RH) should not exceed 60% during production and storage. Using dry air when cooling chocolate products in cooling tunnels prevents condensation from forming on products and the tunnel. This enhances hygiene levels and products do not become sticky or stick to the conveyor belt.
It is necessary to maintain control over the ambient humidity when sugar-coating products. Quality is impaired if the ambient humidity is too high, and products readily stick to one another. During the damp season, the humidity also means that the drying time – and hence also the coating time – is extended. Dehumidification ensures that the same drying time and quality are applicable all year round.
Boxes and stacking trays become stuck on the conveyor belt in the packaging machines if they are damp. The packaging process can be improved by using dry air as this ensures that products do not become stuck on machinery or wrappings.
Sugar becomes sticky or even dissolves if the ambient humidity is too high. When storing sugar loose or in sacks it is therefore a good idea to control the ambient humidity on the storage premises. Sugar silos should be fed with dry air to protect the head space from condensation.