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What would be the best temperature and relative humidity for our food additives storage facility?

temperature relative humidity storage condition environment food spice

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#1 MauriceDan

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:54 AM

Good day to all. Hope everyone is doing fine.

 

I am a Quality Assurance Supervisor for a medium-sized factory here in the Philippines. It would be great to know more about food safety and quality from people who are experienced in this field.

 

I would like to ask what would be the best temperature and RH for our storage facility. Philippines is a tropical country so the weather is always hot throughout the year.

 

At 8:00AM our RH is withtin the range of 55-75%, @ 28-32 degree C

At 12:00NN it is around 40-60%, @ 32-35 degree C

and at 3:00PM it is around 35-50%, @ 33-36 degree C

 

Our raw materials are oleoresins, food spices, sugar, salt and other food additives. Is our storage facility environment acceptable for food storage? Thank you



#2 drk0904

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 05:19 AM

Dear MauriceDen,

 

Do you have any automatic system in place to control Temperature and RH ?

 

Thanks 


Edited by drk0904, 08 June 2020 - 05:19 AM.


#3 MauriceDan

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 05:29 AM

Thanks for the response.

 

Right now we don't have. Our storage is a typical warehouse only. No aircondition units. But we have an air evaporating fan in place to help cool the area.

 

The Relative Humidity at the start of the work-day is quite high, is that okay? Thanks



#4 drk0904

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 11:02 AM

Dear MauriceDen,

 

Unfortunately I don't have experience with air evaporating fan. Could you maybe explain what is the working principle of it?

 

From what you have said the products being stored are quite hygroscopic (oleoresins, food spices, sugar, salt and other food additives) i.e. they absorb water from surrounding air. From my understanding that can be your biggest quality issue. Have you faced problems related to that ?

 

If yes you can suggest your company management/higher ups about investing some amount on automatic  system in place to control Temperature and RH. You can try to convince them by showing them actual figures of product wastage directly due to this problem.

 

Thanks 



#5 Charles.C

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:14 PM

Good day to all. Hope everyone is doing fine.

 

I am a Quality Assurance Supervisor for a medium-sized factory here in the Philippines. It would be great to know more about food safety and quality from people who are experienced in this field.

 

I would like to ask what would be the best temperature and RH for our storage facility. Philippines is a tropical country so the weather is always hot throughout the year.

 

At 8:00AM our RH is withtin the range of 55-75%, @ 28-32 degree C

At 12:00NN it is around 40-60%, @ 32-35 degree C

and at 3:00PM it is around 35-50%, @ 33-36 degree C

 

Our raw materials are oleoresins, food spices, sugar, salt and other food additives. Is our storage facility environment acceptable for food storage? Thank you

 

I guess some compromises are inevitable, eg -

 

Attached File  rel.humidity.PNG   11.27KB   0 downloads

 

Dried and powdered spices being highly hygroscopic absorb moisture from the surrounding air when humidity is high and become sticky. This inhabits their free flow through the packaging machine. The damp powder also sticks to the wrapping paper slowing the process and creating hygiene problems. It also decreases the shelf life of the product.

Cardamom: Inadequately dried cardamom causes mould, making it unfit for processing. Fresh cardamom capsule has a moisture content of 85% of its total weight.

Cinnamon: Even leaves of cinnamon possess a substantial amount of volatile aroma which are lost if the leaves are dried at temperatures higher than 10°C (50°F).

Chillies: If not dried properly, fungus can grow while storage and hence reducing its taste and aroma.

 


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 MauriceDan

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 02:09 AM

Thank you for your inputs.

 

An Evaporating Cooling fan is a fan that used water to produce cooler air. Basically, it is like an airconditioning unit but doesn't use a refrigerant and does not produce cold air like ACs. 

 

We do experience lumping or caking of some materials especially those stored for 4 months and beyond. most of our materials are consumed within 2 months from the date of receipt. 

 

My concern is how can i set a standard for the temperature and RH being in a tropical country, very humid at times. I have read that it is ideal to have RH 60% or below for food materials. But it seems that we are always beyond 60% in the morning, and when temperature rises in the middle of the day, RH is within the 60% limit.

 

Shall I stick to the RH=60% max? And will just explain to our external auditors why it exceeds the limit at certain time of the day.

 

Thank you for your inputs. We are a relatively new company and I am trying to set up standards and systems related to food quality and safety. Hope you can continue to guide me since you have more experience that I do.



#7 Charles.C

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 08:38 AM

Thank you for your inputs.

 

An Evaporating Cooling fan is a fan that used water to produce cooler air. Basically, it is like an airconditioning unit but doesn't use a refrigerant and does not produce cold air like ACs. 

 

We do experience lumping or caking of some materials especially those stored for 4 months and beyond. most of our materials are consumed within 2 months from the date of receipt. 

 

My concern is how can i set a standard for the temperature and RH being in a tropical country, very humid at times. I have read that it is ideal to have RH 60% or below for food materials. But it seems that we are always beyond 60% in the morning, and when temperature rises in the middle of the day, RH is within the 60% limit.

 

Shall I stick to the RH=60% max? And will just explain to our external auditors why it exceeds the limit at certain time of the day.

 

Thank you for your inputs. We are a relatively new company and I am trying to set up standards and systems related to food quality and safety. Hope you can continue to guide me since you have more experience that I do.

 

Should state that dry (packed?) food storage not my area of expertise..

 

If relevant control equipment as previously mentioned is not an option, seems the operational environment is immutable.

 

I have enclosed 3 files relating to logic for selection of optimum relative humidity (RH) and last one with a large RH (mostly high) data collection (JFI)

 

Based on attached files RH values between 60 and 70% seem supportable as a maximum for various  dry products in OP although more conservative opinions can certainly be found, eg -

https://foodsafetyma...y-food-storage/

 

I noticed that first file used mean  monthly RH values for evaluation purposes.

 

Attached File  postharvest loss.pdf   1.23MB   13 downloads

Attached File  humidity discussion.pdf   110.65KB   13 downloads

Attached File  storage tropical agricultural products.pdf   633.4KB   13 downloads

Attached File  transport tropical products.pdf   3.45MB   15 downloads

 

PS - some spices may be sensitive :unsure:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 moskito

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 04:12 PM

Hi,

 

just a note: you will receive from your suppliers with each product a storage advice which is related to shelf life. This should be kept in mind especially with respect to the packaging and sensitivity of materials. In many cases several zones are necessary even in an area like Western Europe where the wheather is rather stable. In any case you should recheck with your supplier the shelf life if you deviate from conditions mentioned in the spec. You will have to make a classification and assignment to the few conditions that are available.

 

Rgds

moskito



#9 MauriceDan

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 08:01 AM

Thank you so much Charles C.

 

It means a lot that there are people who are always willing to give their advice and help.

 

Keep safe everyone







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