Controlling the amount of moisture in bakery dough is an important consideration for bakers. Too little or too much moisture impacts production and quality. By installing MoistTech’s IR3000 NIR Moisture Sensor after the dough mixer or after the dough has been formed, manufactures can continuously monitor the moisture content to make adjustments as needed. Bakers strive to have the best finish products. Maintaining the correct moisture content in dough can improve quality and consistency, as well as prevent processing difficulties, decrease waste and cutting energy costs during the drying and baking process. Moisture levels in bakery dough can also affect the taste, appearance, stability and shelf life. Additionally, variation and excess moisture in dough can result in discoloration in the final product, burning and out of specification of product. Testing moisture during this time will allow adjustments to be made so that manufacturers have the highest quality.
Whether finished products have too much or too little moisture is a main concern for bakers as some food items are sold by weight, which reduces costs. Moisture can also lower the fat content and reduce carbohydrates. However, having too much moisture can make the item taste stale of even worse contributing to bacteria/mold growth.
Measuring moisture content throughout the process also provides bakers cost savings in energy and fuel costs, as well as having less product waste. Any excessive water that is added must be evaporated in the oven to produce products within a specified moisture range, which results in longer bake times. With continuous NIR online moisture testing, manufacturers can monitor moisture levels which they in-turn, can precisely control ovens to optimize the production process with minimum energy requirements as well as preventing over cooking.
MoistTech has thousands of installations worldwide on bakery dough. We offer both online for the continuous readings of NIR moisture measurement and laboratory NIR moisture sensors for spot tests near lines or in your quality control labs. Offering a wide variety of instruments including sanitary food grade models that employ a food grade polymeric lens or sapphire window which are designed to meet strict hygiene, regulations and safety requirements of food manufacturing environments. Additionally, conveyor product gaps, random impurities and burnt product have no effect on the accuracy of the measurement readings.
Realizing that many food processing companies use many primary reference measurements, either in-house or out sourced, MoistTech’s NIR moisture sensors are easy to set-up and use. Instant measurements provide manufacturers 100% inspection and savings in cost.
We recommend installing a sensor over a conveyor after the mixer or over a sheet, after the rollers/extruders. The sensor should be mounted about 10” from the product and angled about 15” off the perpendicular. This eliminates directly reflected light, as dough sheets can often be shiny. The sensor should be located as close as possible to the mixer or rollers/extruders as the dough surface tends to dry quickly and create a surface hardened effect.