Maintaining a clean food processing facility or storage warehouse may not be enough to keep consumables safe and maximize their shelf lives. Creating favorable environmental conditions with temporary climate control solutions helps keep products healthy and wholesome for as long as possible, and promotes worker productivity.
The Dangers of Not Using Temporary Climate Control in Food Processing and Storage Facilities
- Microorganism growth: Moisture prompts the growth and spread of microorganisms, even in areas considered clean. Without temporary climate and humidity control, condensation may form on food processing equipment and in storage areas. A lack of proper airflow may allow contaminants and dust particles to reach food production areas. In a meat-processing facility, for example, if air in an area where workers handle raw meat flows to an area that contains the final product, such as the packaging stations, airborne bacteria could infect the goods.
- Decreased product quality and shelf life: If dry foods are exposed to moisture, the resulting mold and bacterial growth can lead to spoilage and food borne illnesses. Without the proper temperature regulation, the shelf life of some foods may decrease. In addition, higher environmental temperatures may lead to the breakdown of vitamins in food, thus decreasing their nutritional value.
- Breakdowns in packaging: In general, the design of food packaging keeps consumable goods from spoiling and prolongs its shelf life. The presence of moisture in a warehouse, for example, may cause metal cans to corrode and paper packaging to break down. Consequently, package deterioration could cause food contamination or spoilage. Heat can further deteriorate food packaging, particularly if it comes from sunlight.
The Benefits of Climate Control
In some fruits, vegetables and roots, cool temperatures slow down the production of the natural ripening agent ethylene.
- Improve ventilation: Temporary environmental control solutions reduce humidity in a facility because they promote proper air flow. When you can control moisture and ventilation, you do not have to spend as much on moisture-impervious food packaging.
- Eliminate moisture-related contamination concerns: One of the top priorities in the food processing industry is food safety. Even in the most tightly controlled, sanitized environments, excess moisture and incorrect environmental temperatures can make it difficult to maintain safety standards. Temporary climate control solutions help facilities maintain sanitary conditions and ideal temperatures by eliminating excess moisture.
- Increased productivity: Facilities that clean equipment with water often must wait for the water to dry before resuming the food preparation process. With humidity control equipment, workers don’t have to wait as long for the water to dry, which increases productivity.
- Optimal temperature ranges: Temporary climate control allows you to store food at temperatures that maintain their nutritional value. Maintaining cool conditions can:
- Reduce the degradation and respiratory activity of enzymes
- Prevent the growth of organisms that decay food
- Decrease internal water losses in dry foods
- Preserve food packaging
- Save energy: HVAC units are not the same as temperature control solutions, nor do they perform the same tasks. When you use temporary climate control, you reduce the load placed on the heating and cooling system, reducing operation costs and prolonging its life.
Failure to regulate the humidity in a food processing plant or warehouse can create a dangerous breeding ground for microorganisms and negatively affect the quality of the products. Polygon offers temporary climate control solutions tailored to your facility’s needs that mitigate and eliminate moisture and moisture-related problems, while creating a comfortable environment for workers.
[Photo from Fabrice de Nola via CC License 2.0]