Air Dehumidification for Confectionery

It is in the nature of things (based on physics) that the production, processing and storage process of confectionery primarily depends on the continuous dehumidification of the ambient air. Combined with moisture, sugar develops a sticky consistency. Accordingly, dehumidification measures are used throughout the entire production process in the confectionery industry: during transport to the silos and the subsequent storage of the raw materials, coating, moulding (especially of chocolate) and, of course, the respective packaging processes. Confectionery can usually be easily processed and permanently stored below 60 per cent relative humidity. In addition, their drying times are reduced in low-humidity environments and they can be
easily packed in boxes or bags.

Hygroscopic Ingredients (such as sugar)

In the industrial manufacture and further processing of hygroscopic substances, continuous dehumidification of the ambient air is essential for optimal production. Compounds that have a strong attraction to moisture, such as starch, may change not only their dimensions but also their colour and other characteristics when they absorb water. Crucially, however, the quality of the products and their individual components may also deteriorate to the point of being unusable or inedible. For example, flour quickly forms lumps when it absorbs moisture, whereas sugar reacts chemically with water to form cast or caramel-like compounds that can make it unusable for further processing. The use of effective dehumidification solutions is vital in order to prevent the consequences
of these reactions or processes.

Avoiding Ice Formation
(chocolate requires -20°C)

In an industrial context, dehumidification is used as a matter of course anywhere the dryness level needs to be kept constant and consistently high during processing operations. Take chocolate production, for example: Transforming liquid chocolate into the usual bar shape during further processing places extreme demands on air dryness. In such exacting environments, mainly adsorption dryers are deployed. Today, these are capable not only of controlling the air down to minimum humidity values, but also of ensuring the operational safety and functionality of the equipment used; and this down to well below zero. Air dehumidification using current adsorption technology enables energy and cost savings for large-scale facility system operators in particular.

Gelatine Drying

Whether to ensure the gloop-free further processing of baked goods, to produce highly hygroscopic bouillon cubes or to firmly mould chocolate products: Effective air drying is often a crucial factor in the production and storage of numerous products in the food and luxury foods, alcohol and tobacco sector. In this context, the impact of excessively high or fluctuating humidity in the environment is just as negative as less constant temperature conditions. This also applies to the production and especially the further processing of gelatine or gelatine-containing products, where the entire manufacturing process is similar to that of other confectionery items such as sweets or chocolate products. In gelatine processing, the use of dehumidifiers can, above all, prevent the products from sticking to each other or to the packaging materials, thereby maintaining
a constant process flow in production.
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Humidity in Manufacturing

This brochure provides information on what is important to ensure the environment is optimally conditioned, what needs to be considered and what solutions are available.