How you document humidity in baking.

Brought to you by Reading Thermal

Baking products takes more than just heat. From the moment dough is developed and starts the journey through proofers, ovens, and cooling racks, a number of factors come into play: time, temperature, airflow, energy transfer, and humidity.

Why do you care about adjusting and documenting humidity?

The amount of available moisture in the air impacts the way products bake, and the amount of moisture available in the end product. Factors like how big the oven load is, the temperature in the oven or proofer, or the saturation level of steam impact how much humidity is in the surrounding air. There is also moisture coming from the product itself.  All this impacts the quality of your final product.

Here are a few ways humidity can impact your final product:

  • The amount of moisture left in a product can determine its shelf life.
  • Reduced evaporation can keep the surface of a cookie moist, allowing it to stretch, preventing cracks.
  • Some products require surface condensation to produce a concentrated sugar solution, which gives the surface a glaze.
  • Finished product moisture can directly affect breakage during the packaging process.
  • Product throughput kg/hr (lb/hr) can also be affected by when and how much moisture builds in a process. Moisture laden environments reduce baking efficiency, thereby reducing product throughput.

Control humidity, control your product

Controlling moisture in the air starts with tracking it. Humidity sensors are a way to document levels in the oven. However, there is the proofer and cooling towers as well. That’s why at Reading Thermal, we’ve developed the SCORPION® 2 Digital Humidity Sensor.

This breakthrough technology is designed to measure the absolute moisture content of the thermal environment in both heating and cooling processes.  It is applicable to proofers, ovens, dryers and cooling tunnels. The sensor contains a patent pending humidity sampling system that measures Dew Point Temperature, Absolute Humidity and Relative Humidity in high temperature and very high dew point processes such as ovens with steam injection.

A few benefits of this technology:

  • Anti-saturation technology allowing measurements in steam conditions
  • Unaffected by combustion gasses in the baking chamber (DGF Ovens)
  • Single sensor for low temp (%RH) and high temp (Absolute HU) applications

See a complete list of advantages here.

With humidity profiling the baker can measure the amount of moisture in the baking environment and adjust the profile to obtain desired finished product characteristics related to:

  • Shelf life
  • Texture
  • Appearance

And let’s not forget the Food Safety aspect of humidity profiling because humidity in ovens helps kill pathogens found in surface toppings. Now it can be measured and documented!

There’s a lot to track in a thermal process, and the humidity is just one of them. Make it one less thing to worry about!

Learn more about the SCORPION® 2 Digital Humidity Sensor here or stop by the Reading Thermal Booth #5521 at IBIE 2019.