Condensation Prevention in the Meat Industry
Dehumidification for Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Processing
During meat, poultry, and seafood processing, desiccant dehumidification is used to prevent condensation from forming, eliminating product contamination from contact with condensation. Meat processing facilities strive to maintain a clean processing environment while maintaining the correct humidity level for product storage. Munters dehumidification products help this industry achieve the critical hygiene standards required for processing and storing meat, seafood, and poultry.
Common Areas that Require Dehumidification in Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Processing
Condensation occurs in meat, poultry, and fish processing plants when warm, humid air comes into contact with cooler surfaces such as those found in cutting rooms, chiller and freezer rooms, further processing rooms, and packaging rooms. Production staff can spend a significant amount of time removing condensation that forms on overhead pipes and ceilings in the proximity of food processing areas.
Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Applications that Require Dehumidification
Unwanted moisture is often a problem in meat, poultry, and fish processing plants. Condensation forms on equipment, floors, ceiling, and walls, leading to potential food contamination affecting product quality. Some of the common application areas that require dehumidification include:
- Meat, poultry, and seafood processing
- Storing meat, poultry, and seafood products
- Sausage drying
- Packaging meat, poultry, and seafood products
Effects of Uncontrolled Humidity
In order to keep processing facilities clean and sanitized, thousands of gallons of water are sprayed on a daily basis. While most of this water is drained away, a significant amount evaporates and becomes water vapor. This water vapor condenses and can cause moisture to form on surfaces.
All condensation needs to be removed after sanitation and prior to the start of processing. Food processors often hang plastic sheeting over their processing areas as temperature differences can cause the ceiling to sweat, resulting in high levels of condensation. They also add fans to increase the airflow in the evisceration area. Airflow and pressure imbalances within the plant can introduce air at higher humidity levels, inadvertently exacerbating the condensation problem. Condensation and fogging can also create worker safety issues.
Increased scrutiny by the USDA and other enforcing bodies has resulted in companies actively searching for cost-effective solutions for fogging, icing, dripping, and other moisture-related problems, to comply with zero-tolerance guidelines and avoid non-compliance issues.
Solutions to Uncontrolled Humidity
Munters dehumidification systems for meat, poultry, and seafood processing precisely control the humidity and dew point in the plant so condensation cannot occur.
With Munters dehumidification equipment, the moisture in the air is removed by using a desiccant. As a result, the Munters desiccant system can remove as much moisture as necessary to maintain the low dew point levels (much lower dew points than refrigeration can achieve) required to prevent the formation of condensation.
Munters’ service engineers can carry out airflow tests to determine the existing airflow patterns, to ensure the effective distribution of the dry air. Within hours of starting up the Munters system, ice and condensation disappears, plastic sheeting can be removed, and sanitation processes are made easier along with a shorter duration.
Advantages with Munters
By controlling condensation and humidity, Munters creates optimal conditions during meat, fish, and poultry processing. As a global leader in desiccant dehumidification, Munters provides dehumidificaction for this industry that provides the following benefits:
- USDA compliance
- Increased production
- Reduced manual labor
- Reduced pull down time
- Reduced refrigeration load
- Reduced microbial counts
- Reduced defrost cycles
- Improved temperature control