Stove Drying – Ask yourself:
Here at DEHUM, we have developed a unique understanding of stove drying of foam and gelatine products and we have put this into practice with our clients to fulfil these promises and deliver more.
What could be achieved by reducing the time of your stoving cycle?
If you could double production through the same oven footprint, what would stop you?
If the quality of your product improved at the same time, could you increase sales?
If this all reduced the load off your starch drier, could you be more efficient?
If your production ran consistently and wasn’t affected by summer conditions, would you implement the necessary changes?
We know that the questions asked above are issues you are facing in your stoving cycle throughout the year. If you recognise these problems then understand this: it isn’t something you are doing wrong, your recipe hasn’t changed, your starch drier doesn’t have a fault, your suppliers haven’t changed their product, and this can all be prevented with our help.
It all starts with knowing the very basics of accelerated drying. These break down into four areas:
- Air Temperature
- Air Humidity
- Air velocity
- Product moisture release and Equilibrium Relative Humidity (ERH)
If you can manipulate and control these, you can control the drying process. Dehum has over 22 years of experience working on humidity control applications. Within this time, we have developed our knowledge of humidity control and its effects on products and processes. We now find ourselves as our client’s first call when they have production issues but are unaware of the solution. Over the last 10 years, we have worked closely on the confectionary stove drying process, we spent time looking at all the existing methods, their strengths and weaknesses and how the application of our unique knowledge could take this process to the next level. This extensive investment has resulted in a solution we have taken to market, utilising years of data collection and experience of this working in the field. For some clients, this has changed the entire process and production levels have improved with it.
Along with increased production, controlling the quality of your product in the food production process is a matter of handling the entirety of the environment in which it is manufactured. This helps to maintain consistency across your production line and avoid any unnecessary waste of materials. The necessity to uphold this type of quality and consistency is at its most important within the sweet manufacturing industry, where high levels of starch and gelatine are used in the process and need to be kept in specific conditions in order to attain the quality required. With different types of confectionary requiring different relative humidity in order to form properly, it is key that you control the atmosphere around the product.
Quality and consistency are at the heart of any sweet manufacturing enterprise. Without carefully controlled heat and humidity conditions, you run the risk of allowing too much moisture to remain in the product, resulting in a loss of quality, stability, flavour and shelf life whilst also causing them to stick to the insides of the wrappers. Dehumidifying the stove during the production process stops the sweets from sticking in the rest of the line and preserves the uniform quality of the product, this is due to the highly hygroscopic nature of the ingredients at play within this process. This can slow your process and cause hygiene issues.
This also comes into play earlier on in the process, with dry ingredients such as sugar being a key component in the recipes of many confectionery products, it is highly important to control the level of humidity around ingredients like this, as an excess of moisture in the air can result in the sugars breaking down at a much higher rate than expected and taking away your control over the final product.
With different products requiring different conditions in the stove drying process, it is imperative that warm, dry air is circulated at the correct temperature within the drying oven. This usually ranges between 38° and 60° for foam and more solid sweets like wine gums respectively. By having the ability to finely tune the conditions within your drying oven to specific requirements, you can maximise the efficiency of this process and maintain a uniform quality in your production. With all of these in place, you will be able to see an effect on your bottom line as less time will need to be spent monitoring efficiency and quality.
The stove drying time of the confectionary itself is not the only way that production time can be drastically improved. In a standard oven, typically after the sweets themselves have been dried, the starch trays that they are moulded in would be at 10-13% moisture content. With a desired deposit moisture content between 6-7%, this high moisture load can create a bottleneck in the starch drier. This is where humidity control within the ovens comes back into play, by controlling the moisture content within this environment, you can almost eliminate the requirement for a starch dryer in the process completely. If there is no longer a need to wait for the starch to dry, the efficiency of the process increases drastically whilst simultaneously eliminating the costs of running expensive equipment. Starch has been measured at 7.2% moisture content after the stoving process within our system and this is throughout both the heating and cooling phase day in and day out at any time of year. Again, how could this change your process?
With heat and humidity affecting almost every facet of the confectionery manufacturing process, it becomes clear just how paramount it is to control and maintain the relative humidity and moisture levels within your own food production business. By controlling these elements of the atmosphere, you can preserve the quality of ingredients and your product while simultaneously increasing production capacity by removing elements of the process that slows you down.
To conclude, to speed up food production time by 50% the challenges are multifaceted but by using one application and solution, you can achieve a new level of productivity.
For more information on how DEHUM can help increase your speed of production, please visit https://www.dehum.com/applications/food-drink/ or call us on 01926 882 624.
For over twenty-five years, DEHUM (formerly Sorption Wheel Services) are now a major supplier of humidity control systems. We are a true engineering company, designing, supplying and coordinating installations of equipment alongside complimentary services. Our global client list spans all industries, including food & drink, pharmaceutical, nuclear, automotive, aviation, chemical processing, ice prevention/cold storage, car storage and archives