Controlled moisture in food production

Published 2013-03-20 in 

This is an article from the customers magazine The Dewpoint, download the PDF here

The slaughterhouse industry uses thousands of litres of water every day for cleaning its premises. This water has to go somewhere, but without risking product contamination.

Strict hygiene control is a must when food is handled. And this includes keeping tabs on moisture.
There are huge amounts of water in the slaughterhouse environment. The premises are ventilated with outdoor air, and additional water vapour is brought in during the humid summer months. A temperature of 1°C to 9°C is often maintained on slaughterhouse premises. When hot, moist outdoor air meets the cold air or cold surfaces on the premises, relative humidity is increased. A certain amount of moisture evaporates from the bodies of the animals and staff. This causes huge amounts of vapour and condensation on machines, ceilings and floors. Apart from the fact that the moisture increases the risk of contamination, it also makes the floors slippery. Drops of condensation from ceilings are of course unacceptable in environments in which foods are produced.

Controlling the level of moisture results in a drier, more consistent climate all year round. It prevents condensation and also considerably reduces drying times on premises which have been cleaned. It also ensures a much improved indoor climate for staff, as a drier chill is perceived to be less troublesome. If the air is dehumidified, there is less of a risk of slipping and the odours are not as strong. But above all, there is less of a risk of potential microbial growth, thereby allowing the quality of the products to be maintained.