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6 Reasons Why Bakeries Need Humidity Control

In the bakery industry, humidity can be a challenge. High humidity can ruin finished products, resulting in higher product waste, hygiene issues and production stoppages. Even in the most efficient bakeries, excess moisture can quickly impact production and product quality. Controlling relative humidity levels all year round is an absolute necessity to ensure the highest product quality.

Humidity exposes bakeries to a few different risks. There are basically 6 reasons why bakeries should invest in humidity control:

  1. Sustained Quality of Ingredients: Many baking ingredients are extremely hygroscopic, meaning they attract and hold water molecules from the air. Ingredients like sugar and flour become sticky, moldy, or just totally unusable in the process, when they absorb humidity.
  2. Product Consistency Ensured: Baked goods require precise ingredient ratios to ensure the desired texture and taste every time. Excess moisture can disrupt the balance, leading to dough that is too sticky or cakes that are too dense.
  3. Predictable Production Volume and Shelf Life: Increased moisture can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria, which accelerates bread and cookie spoilage. Conversely, if the ambient air is too dry, the baked products risk becoming dry, hard, and rapidly lose their texture.
  4. Ensure Bread and Cookies Look Attractive: The finish and decoration of baked goods, such as glazes or icing, can be adversely affected by humidity, leading to an unappealing appearance which can impact sales.
  5. Maximizing Production Efficiency: Machinery used in the production and packaging of baked goods can experience sticking and caking caused by excess moisture. This will slow down or halt the production line, leading to costly downtime and increased maintenance and cleaning.
  6. Prevent Frost and Condensation: Many bakers chill or freeze their part-baked goods. Condensation quickly turns to ice in cold stores and freezers, which leads to issues such as hazardous working conditions, increased energy consumption, barcode scanning problems, and packaging collapse.

From a commercial perspective, ensuring correct and consistent climate conditions is critical. Many hours of downtime for cleaning and unclogging, tons of materials wasted, poor product quality, and slowed or stopped production can all be prevented with dehumidification.

Controlling Climate for Crispy Belgian 'Pistolets'

A good example of where controlling climate has made a difference is at Kenis Bakery in Belgium.

Excessive humidity made the bakery's bread too spongy, preventing them from achieving their desired crispiness. Here, a smart, customized dehumidification solution was chosen to ensure the quality of various types of breads, for instance their specialty - crispy, Belgian ‘pistolets’.

“We have found the perfect balance between craftsmanship and technology,” says Glenn Kenis, the owner of Kenis Bakery. “With the help of the Munters industrial dehumidification system, we can always serve our customers the crispest breads, even during the hottest summer days! 

Read more about Kenis Bakery here.

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