Master-bakery van Maanen is a family business that has been active as a bread and pastry producer for over 100 years, with sales in their own chain of stores.
With almost 50 shops, van Maanen has become a well known name in the area between Amsterdam and The Hague. In the bakery, craftsmanship is still important. The bakery complies with the highest standards and regulations to maintain the highest quality.
In the summer months, the bakers at van Maanen had a serious problem. In summer, each kilogram of air can contain up to 15 grams of moisture. Loaves of bread will come out of the oven crispy and crunchy, are then processed in a cooling tower and later cooled down further in the production hall. This process is continued all night long, after which the loaves are made ready for distribution to the 50 stores. But in the summer months the crispy and crunchy condition gets lost in the cooling process. The loaves' crust looses too much of its crisp texture.
This problem of bread's crust becoming less crip has had a lot of attention at van Maanen Bakery. How to solve the problem was an issue nobody could solve. Until Peter Smit of van Maanen started to talk with Munters about dehumidifying the production space. The Bakers had already discovered that moisture management plays an important role when baking and producing bread. During the cooling down process each loaf gives off a little moisture. Not a problem for one loaf, but when talking about thousands on loaves it is a different matter. That is a lot of moisture. Added to this, in summer the ambient moisture content is the highest, which causes the bread to absorb moisture again after cooling down.
“After we made the decision to optimise the product a huge load was lifted from our shoulders”, says Peter Smit. Munters took control over the whole implementation process and stated clearly which steps it would involve. Also the necessary ventilation for the production crew was taken into account.
The most simple and effective solution to solve this problem is addressing the cause: “Take the moisture from the air”. Munters has more than 55 years of experience in dehumidifying air. When processing or producing hygroscopic products, like bread, it is important that moisture is managed according to the product specifications and the sorption-isotherms of the product. At Master-bakery van Maanen, the production space is kept constantly at 50-60% Relative Humidity. This means that in summer time, the problem of the loaves getting soggy is solved, so they will arrive crunchy and crispy at the customer.
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