Accurate humidity control is essential in many baking processes, from proofing, through oven baking and finally storage and packing. The qualities of a baked product are frequently determined by the moisture content of the dough, and this is dramatically affected by the ambient humidity levels in the environment.
Correctly humidifying a proofing area will ensure the desired crust is formed during baking, as the quality of the dough’s skin is impacted by the area’s humidity level. The drier the proofing area, the more moisture is lost from the dough, the thicker the skin and the crustier the final product.
The extreme conditions inside an oven require specialist humidification systems, to ensure the baking time and moisture loss during baking is optimal for the product being processed. Steam humidification is normally used in these applications for utmost hygiene and to avoid the cooling effect of cold water systems.
General humidification of a baking facility’s manufacturing area will control airborne contamination from ingredients such as flour or sugar. Dry air will promote airborne fly and dust, so humidifying to around 50%RH will result in a greater deposition of airborne contaminants on to surfaces, where they can be cleaned away.
Dehumidification of baking facilities is also essential to control the possibility of condensation in wet areas, resulting in mould and unhygienic operations. Temperature control is an important aspect to dehumidifying and Condair has systems that can dry an environment without negatively impacting temperature control.