Kraft chocolate storage with new energy-efficient MCD
With almost 2,000 employees, Kraft Foods Nordic is the leading Nordic supplier of chocolate, snacks, food and coffee with brands like Freia, Marabou, Daim, Japp, Twist, Kraft and Philadelphia.
At the chocolate factory for Marabou, north of Stockholm in Sweden, confectionery products are being produced, stored and distributed to European customers. At the automated store, 160,000 pallets are handled each year.
In 1984, a Munters MA25000 desiccant dehumidifier was installed at Kraft’s 50,000m3 automated chill store to prevent condensation issues, to avoid hygienic issues like mould and chocolate bloom, to protect packaging against softening and to keep the product quality high during the whole storage period.
The climate in the store is controlled and verified daily, keeping conditions strictly at +5°C/55% RH. Under these conditions, the products keep their original quality and freshness, with no product waste due to humidity experienced at all.
The most common issue when handling chocolate is “chocolate bloom”, experienced by consumers as a whitish cast. This problem occurs either when sugar crystallizes on the surface because of high humidity after condensation or when the cold product is moved into warm surroundings and cocoa fat crystallizes in pure form on the surface.
Before distributing the goods from Kraft to customers, the products are moved to another store at 15°C/60% for one week's conditioning before loading into trucks, thus preventing condensation occurring when cold products are placed into warmer trucks.
Energy consumption is a key issue for Kraft. At their manufacturing sites, great efforts are being made to reduce energy consumption, waste products, emissions etc., in close cooperation with all employees and suppliers. A goal of reducing energy consumption by 35% over 3 years is now close to being fulfilled.
As a part of this plan, all dehumidification plants at their factories were surveyed and energy efficiency improvements made. At the Upplands Väsby factory, the 24-year-old dehumidifier still worked, although after years of wear and tear the rotor (drying wheel) capacity was reduced and in comparison to today’s dehumidifiers, the energy consumption was high.
Chosen amongst other suppliers, Munters' replacement dehumidifier provided energy efficiency considerably better than competitors. Munters' newly released MCD dehumidifier was an obvious solution, with its very low energy consumption and special rotor design for optimized energy utilization.
For further energy savings, an external heat exchanger was part of the solution from Munters. Competitors' best solutions showed a power consumption of 1.8 kWh per kilo water removed, against the Munters MCD-units 1.43 kWh (at 84 kW effect) and even as low as 1.31 kWh during periods with lower humidity loads (60 kW).