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Right moisture levels enhance shelf life of confectionery items
BryairMedia CoverageWaterproofing the ‘gummy’ matrix

Waterproofing the ‘gummy’ matrix

Dinesh Gupta, President, Bry-Air | Times Food Processing Journal | June 2008

Dinesh Gupta, Bry-AirRight moisture levels enhance shelf life of confectionery items. Dinesh Gupta discusses one of the solution developed by his company to control moisture during the confectionery manufacturing process.

The food industry continuously incorporates sophisticated technologies to maintain the growth fuelled by changing consumer tastes and lifestyle. Every processor endeavors to ensure that the food product reaches the consumer with the right flavor and perfect shape, with its shelf life intact.

Moisture or rather uncontrolled humidity during processing, packaging and spoiler. Moisture control is essential in every segment of the food industry in the spheres of storage, production, packaging, processing and law temperature drying.

Moisture menace in confection

Chocolates, head candies, chewing gums, bubble gum, etc. contain large ingredients, which are hygroscopic. When the humidity is high, these products regain moisture, become sticky and get prone to mould formation. This inhibits the natural flow as it sticks to the high speed processing and packaging machinery and to the wrapping material. The processing thus slow down and creates a problem of hygiene, resulting in loss of production as well as loss in the final product quality.

The uncontrolled moisture during the manufacturing and coasting process of confectionery causes the following problems:

  • Change in the structure/dimension of the film core interface
  • Grainy and irregular coasting
  • Increases in residual moisture content and improper adhesion-degradation of costing quality presence of moisture
  • Sugar bloom and change in flavor

Humidity: A possible threat to confectionery quality

The solution to the problem lies in maintaining required stringent condition of temperature and humidity and in surrounding the processing, packaging and storage area with dry air. Bry-Air Dehumidifiers lower the moisture content of the surrounding air maintaining RH as low as 1% at a constant level regardless of the ambient conditions during the production, storage and packaging to help improve the quality and retain the freshness of the chocolates longer.

Bry-air dehumidifier have been helping to ensure that the required humidity conditions are maintained in processing, coasting, packaging areas of many confectionery biggies like Cadbury, Wrigley, Nestle, M&G, Perfect, etc. Bry-Air dehumidifiers have been successfully functioning during the gum coasting process at the Wrigley Company’s facilities in Kenya and India.

Chocolates need to be stored at 35+5% RH at 25°C for safe storage in order to retain its original flavor and aroma. Cadbury installed Bry-Air dehumidifier when it was facing environmental challenging in its food and drink packaging hall. Prior to the installation of the Bry-Air dehumidifier there were problems related to increase in machine downtime in achieving the desired quality product, etc.

Humidity Control during gum coating

  • Problem faced: Generally, two types of chewing gum available for consumption, sugar-coated type and sugar-free coated type. In the presence of humidity, the coasting on the coated product also decreases, if processed under high humidity condition.
  • Procedure: Formed chewing gum is loaded into coasting are applied. The coasting machines are fed with dry air at different conditions depending on type of coasting and described below:

Sugar-coated gum

  • On sugarcoated product, a lower supply air temperature is required to ensure uniform and smooth coating
  • The dry air supply into the coating machine is at 25+/-2 C and 10-15% RH.

Sugar –free coated gum

  • On this product the supply of air temperature is not that important, typical supply air condition are 35-40 C and 5-6% RH.

The coating process in candy and chewing gum

Gum CoatingThe production of coated confectionery is an intricate process. This includes candy with or without soft jelly centers, chocolate center, with combinations of chocolate and nuts, coated gum pallets (sugar free/sugar) and many other.

One of the most widely used coating techniques in pan coating. The term pan comes from the coating apparatus used to apply the outer coating into the raw centers as they tumble in a large drum. Spray nozzles mounted inside the pan coater drums evenly distribute the liquid to from the coating and as the water evaporates, the hard shell in formed. If the heated air blowing through the pans is too moist, the drying times are significantly longer and therefore the throughput is greatly diminished. The drying time of the coating applied in pans becomes the critical factor in maximizing the throughput in this entire production cycle.

Bry-Air Solution

The only solution to the problem lies in surrounding the processing and manufacturing area whit dry air.

Bry-Air dehumidifiers find application in the following areas

Gum drying 52-66°C 15-25%RH
Chewing gum manufacturing  20-25°C 20-40%RH
Gum ball manufacturing(forming rolls) 21°C 45%RH
Candy storage 18°C 40%RH
Hard candy packaging 21-24% 35-40%RH

Bry-Air dehumidifier offer the simplest and most cost- effective solution to moisture /humidity control during process. The recommended design conditions of the inlet airflow of the coating pan should be kept at an ambient temperature of 32-35°C and 15-20% RH, which corresponds to absolute humidity of 30-40 grs.

 

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