Tiger Brands, South Africa’s biggest consumer foods company is facing legal charges due to bacterial infection in their food products. The virus listeria in their products is responsible for the death of more than 180 people. This defect in their food manufacturing has also cost billions to the company as more than 1000 lawsuits have been filed against them. Tiger Food is one of the many other food manufacturing companies facing lawsuits due to contamination in their products. The revenue loss due to bacterial infection in food products is more than 55 billion dollars yearly.
The growth of bacteria on products can be due to any number of factors. However, the most devious factor is excess humidity. Due to high humidity, viruses like Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli start infecting the food products.
The bacterial infection due to high moisture is not only limited to food products, but it can also harm the people working in these companies. It can lead to causing asthma, allergies and respiratory infections in the workers.
Why Is There a Need to Control Humidity?
Humidity control is an essential aspect of various manufacturing processes. Identification of right humidity level and steps to achieve that level is an important process of quality control and hygiene management in food processing facilities. Real-time moisture management of a product allows manufacturers to achieve a standard quality product with minimum downtime and maximum efficiency. Effective moisture control:
- Increases product consistency
- Reduces fungal and bacterial infections
- Reduces energy costs and wastage of raw materials
- Improves quality control; thus, improving the product quality
- Increases overall productivity and boosts profitability
How to Control Humidity?
The importance of moisture control makes dehumidification a crucial part of the manufacturing process. Dehumidification of the surroundings during a products’ manufacturing, storage and transportation can be easily achieved with the help of dehumidifiers. The dehumidifiers are cost-effective and energy efficient solutions for moisture menace across industries.
How a Dehumidifier Works
- The moist air is drawn into the dehumidifier through a duct
- Air then passes through the rotating desiccant wheel
- The desiccant on the wheel absorbs moisture from the air and releases the dry processed air into space through the process air outlet
- The reactivation air is heated from 100 to 140 degrees Celsius; this heating process helps in rtheemoval of water from the desiccant
- Through the heating process, water from desiccant is transferred into the air which is then ejected out in the environment
Types of Dehumidifiers
- Desiccant Dehumidifier: These dehumidifiers operate on the adsorption principle. Moist air is made to pass through a rotor which contains moisture adsorbent desiccant material. The material (desiccant) adsorbs the moisture, and dry air is released from the dehumidifier.
- Refrigerant Dehumidifier: These dehumidifiers work on the condensation principle. The air is drawn into the dehumidifier and passed through an evaporator coil which cools it below dew point temperature. This leads to condensation of the moisture on the coil.
Dehumidification with desiccant dehumidifiers is widely accepted across industries. It is an energy and cost-friendly method of removing moisture from the air. These dehumidifiers also function well for low humidity requirements.
How to Choose the Right Dehumidifier
Selection of correct equipment is necessary. For choosing the right dehumidifier, some critical parameters must be kept in mind. They are:
- The volume of the room
- Relative humidity outside
- Relative humidity required inside
- The vapour pressure resulting from the difference between the absolute humidity outside and inside
- The rate of migration of moisture resulting from the vapour pressure difference
- Size of the door and door openings per hour
- Number of people working and their activity level
- Fresh air quantity
All these factors have vital importance during the selection of a dehumidifier.
Features to Look for In a Dehumidifier
- Easy installation
- Easy operation
- Easy maintenance
- Good efficiency and effective reliability
Manufacturers who are looking to produce good quality products need to control the threat that moisture poses on their products. Controlling moisture during various production stages will help them in avoiding revenue losses and possible lawsuits. With the availability of substantial solutions like dehumidifier in the market, they can take adequate precautions to protect their products and reputation.