Measuring Humidity in Industrial Ovens, Proofers, Dryers and Cooling Tunnels

Measuring humidity in industrial ovens, proofers, dryers and cooling tunnels with assistance from Reading Thermal can help bakers understand the impact of humidity on their baking process.

Reading Thermal,  headquartered in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, has been studying, measuring, and understanding the commercial baking process for over 25 years. We manufacture and support the SCORPION® 2 Profiling System which is a standard in the baking industry.

Connect our smart sensors and sensor arrays to the SCORPION® 2 Data Logger and pass them through the oven with the product. The system can measure temperature, air velocity, heat flux, humidity, and other baking parameters that affect the quality of your products, and meet FSMA Kill Step Validation requirements.

How Humidity Affects Your Products

Baked products go through three distinct thermal processes:

  • The dough is baked after forming to set its structure.
  • The product must then be dried to a shelf stable point.
  • The product must be adequately cooled before packaging or storage to prevent moisture condensation.

The changes during baking that affect the quality of the final product include time, temperature, and humidity.

  • The amount of moisture that remains in a product can affect its shelf life.
  • Limiting evaporation can keep the surface of the product moist, allowing it to stretch and preventing cracks.
  • Low humidity in a cracker oven can cause blisters that lead to undesirable dark spots and excessive breakage. It may also give the cracker a burnt taste.
  • The lack of humidity in a cookie oven can prevent internal moisture from escaping which can lead to checking (the spontaneous cracking of the cookie after baking).
  • High humidity in bread ovens produces the desirable glossy crust seen on many bread products. Steam injection is often used to achieve this type of crust.
  • High humidity will help kill pathogens, like salmonella, that can be found in surface toppings.
  • Product throughput can also be affected by when and how much moisture builds in a process. Moisture laden environments reduce baking efficiency, thereby reducing product throughput.

Digital Humidity Sensor Advantages

The new Digital Humidity Sensor from Reading Thermal provides a better way to measure humidity in your oven, proofer, dryer and cooling tunnel. Its innovative design offers a more accurate and reliable way to measure the absolute moisture content of the thermal environment. The sensor’s proprietary humidity sampling system with patent pending Anti-Saturation Technology™ allows measurements in high temperature and very high dew point processes.

Measuring humidity in industrial ovens, proofers, dryers and cooling tunnels provides the vital information you need to understand and improve the processes that affect your baked goods. Learn how the SCORPION® 2 Profiling System from Reading Thermal can help you make adjustments that result in superior products. Contact us online or call us at (610) 678-5890 Ext. 2.