Moisture is important in many manufacturing processes, but when it comes to food processing, excess moisture can ruin products and create unnecessary waste, economic losses and decreased productivity, says process control and instrumentation company SECO Process Instrumentation.
With continuous online moisture measurement, food production plants can realise substantial monetary savings.
Knowing the moisture content of the materials used throughout the food and baking process has become a critical component in the industry as many raw materials in the market are based upon weight.
Therefore, the company’s MoistTech moisture sensors can provide a quick test of the moisture levels of the manufacturer’s raw ingredients, effectively saving purchasing plants a lot of money.
While moisture is the major focus, SECO also supplies analysers for the continuous online measurement of protein, fat/oil, sugar, seasonings, caffeine and other constituents or elements that absorb near infrared (NIR) beams.
Realising that many food processing companies use various primary reference measurements, either in-house or outsourced, MoistTech’s NIR moisture sensors are easy to set up and use, providing instant and precise measurements owing to elimination of constituent losses in handling. Instant measurements also provide manufacturers with savings in analysis costs, delivery times and shipping costs.
It is also important to know the moisture content during the mixing stage in the food manufacturing process, as water affects the quality and consistency of the end product with variations and excess moisture in mixes potentially resulting in clumping and out-of-spec recipe formulas.
Testing food moisture during this time will allow adjustments to be made throughout the mixing process to manage moisture levels.
Manufacturers strive to have the best finished product. The amount of water a product has affects the taste, appearance, consistency, and stability, as well as the shelf life. As such, testing the moisture levels of the final product assures manufacturers that they have the highest quality product and consistency.
Whether finished products have too much or too little moisture is a concern for food manufacturers, where food items are sold by weight, moisture reduces costs, can make the item lower in fat/calories, and prevent it from being too dry.