Moisture Content in Molding Starch-Candy
Instant, On-Line Moisture Control
Confectionery items such as jelly bean centers, candy corn, marshmallows, starch gums, caramels, nougat, gummies and cream centers may be manufactured using molding starch. At several stages during the manufacture of these products simple holding operations are required, variously called setting, stoving, resting, curing, drying, aging or conditioning times.
Confectionery manufacturers are interested in reducing holding times to improve productivity and reduce work-in-progress. However, for any one product, there are changing physical processes occurring during these periods. The phenomena involved may include cooling, drying (moisture removal), moisture equilibration or redistribution, gelation (setting), crystallization or a combination of these depending on the product.
The rate at which starch adsorbs moisture is comparatively slow and the dynamic relationship of the product; the rate determines productivity of the process. Unlike in most foods, water is a minor constituent of confectionery — but one that has a major impact.
The MoistTech IR3000 On-Line Moisture Sensor is accurate to laboratory standards with the added benefit of making a continuous measurement over the flow of product at critical locations in the process, both at intermediate and final moisture levels. Fast and accurate moisture measurement is crucial for control of starch molding production plants and for the safe storage and transportation of the final product.
Unsurpassed in performance, our sensors can accurately measure moisture within tenths of a percent of most applications
MoistTech sensors withstand the test of time and are low to zero maintenance
Rely on MoistTech’s NIR moisture sensors to never drift or need re-calibration
COST OF OWNERSHIP
A moisture measurement system is essential for the production process and in some cases will pay for itself in less than 30 days
For most starch molded confections, the moisture content of the starch should be in the range of 5.5 to 7.0 percent. Although there are some marshmallow type products that require starch moisture as low as 5.0 percent, most gummies, jellies, jujubes and other specialty items will work best if the moisture is kept in the 5.5 to 7.0 percent range. If the moisture level drops below 5.5 percent, the starch loses some of its ability to hold the shape of the molds because it becomes too dry and crumbly.
In addition, because of the lower amount of moisture present, it becomes dustier and thus a potential explosion hazard. If the moisture level rises above 7.0 percent, the starch becomes less effective as a curing aid for the candy. Because the starch can only hold onto so much moisture, the more that is present at the time the slurry is cast into it, the less it will be able to absorb from the candy during the curing cycle. In fact, if the moisture level of the starch is too high, and the casting solids of the slurry are too low, the excess moisture from both sides will react in a way that will cause some of the molding starch to adhere to the surface of the finished confection.
What is the Solution?
MoistTech has studied moisture and its applications in manufacturing for over 40 years. That’s why we’re confident our moisture analyzers are a step above the rest. We’re constantly working to develop the latest, most advanced moisture testing technology—which is how the IR-3000 came about.
Locate the point in the production process in which measuring moisture will be the most crucial and beneficial. Identify how you will use the moisture measurement data for improvements and if it will tie into your PLC.
Remember this could involve more than one installation point!
A closed loop process is achieved by incorporating a moisture measurement system into the manufacturing process. Developing a proactive solution to moisture control will avoid costly downfalls.
MoistTech’s experts will assess your specific application with lab tests, calibrations and accuracy results to ensure our equipment will peform for you. All of our sensors are pre-calibrated prior to being shipped to create a plug-and-play operation for the end-user.
Understand the Process
Using the IR-3000 drastically cuts production costs. It is energy efficient, low maintenance, and decreases startup and down times. Over dried product causes waste; so does product that is too moist. With the IR-3000, these problems will no longer be an issue.