Kitchen Range Foods has been producing sweet and savoury frozen food products for more than 30 years. Part of the International Marfrig Group, it supplies products to big-brand food outlets, as well as national and regional food wholesalers.
Kitchen Range Foods had suffered from humidity, a common problem experienced by many frozen and chilled food manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and cold store operators.
Issues associated with high humidity are often accepted as the norm within the industry with ice, frost, snow and condensation a familiar sight in these very cold environments.
Andy Gordon of Kitchen Range Foods says: “We had tried many other options over the years.
“At the lower end of the market, we tried (with some successes) drop-down plastic curtains but these tended to get damaged easily, and went brittle and discoloured over time. Towards the upper end of the market, we tried using an air curtain, however, this proved to be unreliable, inefficient and was eventually turned off and never used again”.
Problems occur when unconditioned, moisture-laden air passes into low-temperature areas. When this moist air comes into contact with the very cold surfaces within a cold store, such as floors, door handles and surfaces, it condenses and freezes, creating a build-up of ice that is dangerously slippery and a risk to safety. In addition, ice accumulating on evaporators impacts on efficiency and the overall climate inside the store.
Munters solution for Kitchen Range Foods was to install a Munters IceDry MLT1400 desiccant dehumidifier inside the cold store in order to target moisture at the source. Specially designed to withstand the -25°C temperatures experienced in frozen storage areas such as these, Munters IceDry is installed near the door inside the cold store for maximum efficiency.
The air inlet to the dehumidifier, due to its proximity to the door, means the system continuously treats the moist infiltrating air before it can distribute throughout the cold store. This air is then dried using Munters desiccant wheel rotor technology and discharged above the cold store door on the inside via a tailor-made distribution plenum.
Gordon adds: “The condition of the cold store has greatly improved and we are now snow and ice-free for the first time in many years. We no longer have issues with the refrigeration equipment icing, blocking up and the cold store is now the best it’s ever been for excessive ice and snow build up on the walls and packaging”.
This significant improvement in conditions means that the cold store is much safer for staff. Door handles and boxes are also clear of ice and snow, making them much easier to handle and assist with loading and unloading times. Keeping evaporators free of ice has resulted in a more efficient refrigeration system and Kitchen Range Foods have been able to reduce their daily defrosts from three per day down to two per day.
Benefits of the Munters IceDry MLT1400 desiccant dehumidifier include:
- Safer environment for staff and forklifts
- Visible reduction of ice on floors, surfaces and door handles
- Improved efficiency of evaporator coils
- Better visibility
- Easier handling of boxes
- Colder climate = improved cold store environment