Riverside Bakery in the UK is a major manufacturer and supplier of chilled quiche products to Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer Supermarkets.
The company contacted Munters to see if they could help reduce a build-up of ice in its freezer, which is used to chill quiche products. The main problem it was experiencing was a build up of ice in its spiral freezer. This was caused by the surrounding air, which had a high humidity and moisture content. The air was getting into the freezer via the inlet and outlet openings and then condensing on the cold surfaces. There was also moisture loss from the hot quiches going into the freezer straight from the oven.
Production was being stopped every 36 hours to completely defrost, wash, clean and dry the freezer. The freezer then had to be brought up to the correct operating temperature of –13°C before production could be restarted. This whole process was taking up to five hours to complete.
Gino Taj from Riverside Bakery worked with Munters to see if it could help solve the problem, thereby increasing the amount of time between defrosts and increasing productivity.
The answer was to install two Munters IceDry® dehumidification systems onto its spiral freezers. The system works by passing ambient air through a slowly revolving rotor that is coated with a desiccant material that absorbs moisture from the air. This provides an efficient, low-cost method of dehumidification.
In this case, by re-circulating the air and bringing in outside air to negate infiltration, the system is able to pick up some of the moisture load from the product, as well as dealing with the infiltration load.
By controlling humidity, Munters created optimal conditions during the freezing and chilling of food. The company has experience from an extensive list of reference installations, including for companies such as Unilever, Kerry Foods, McCain’s and Tryton Foods.
As a result of Munters IceDry® dehumidification systems being installed, there have been substantial benefits to Riverside Bakery. These include increased production,
reduced downtime and the production of a consistent and high-quality product with the correct temperature every day of the year.
Because the freezer no longer has to deal with the moisture load in the air, the freezers take significantly longer to frost up. This ensures a much longer production time between each defrost and the actual time taken to complete the defrost has also been reduced. The freezer is now running six days a week before being defrosted instead of only 24-36 hours.
Munters IceDry® has been used successfully installed around the world at more than 600 sites. IceDry® is not used both for process freezing and to prevent frost in cold storage.
While it is impossible to prevent air from entering a cold store, Munters IceDry® removes the moisture in the air that forms ice. Condensation causes fog around doorways, blinding strip curtains and obstructing views in traffic ways. Apart from the safety issues, ice also prevents the free operation of cold store airlock doors, stopping them sealing properly or even lifting them out of their runners. To run smoothly requires people to regularly chip away the ice, which is a time-consuming job.
The ice also effects the efficiency of the refrigeration system, increasing defrost cycles and degrading temperature control. Munters IceDry® systems tackle the cause of the problem by removing the moisture from the air, so it cannot condense out and form ice on cooling coils, floors, walls or air locks.
With Munters, fork trucks and personnel can operate at normal speeds and doors can operate freely. Munters IceDry® also reduces maintenance on doors and refrigeration plant, reduces down time, speeds up loading and unloading time and increases efficiency and throughput. With no ice to slip on, no ice on strip curtains or fog around door entrances, visibility is improved.