The Role of Controlled Environments in Award-Winning Food Production
By Mert Şeşen, Deputy General Manager and Marketing Manager, Turkey
The secret to award-winning food processing companies lies not only in recipes and ingredients but also in the meticulous control of kitchen environments. Across the globe, large manufacturers of fresh baked goods and frozen bakery products attribute their success not only to special recipes and skilled chefs but also to the art of well-managed production environments.
Within these facilities, despite their large-scale production, each product receives close attention. The installation of efficient air distribution systems is essential to achieve precise and consistent results. Every stage of the process, including dough preparation, leavening, baking, and storage, is meticulously monitored, with necessary planning for each step.
Dough preparation is a delicate process as yeast, a living organism, demands careful handling. Baking experts control the yeast’s performance using specialized equipment such as dough fermentation rooms, proofing cabinets, or fermenters. For instance, HEG Gıda, Turkey’s leading food manufacturer, incorporates fabric air ducts to ensure uncompromised hygienic standards.
Maintaining homogeneous air distribution within the area is crucial to preserve dough quality and to prevent the formation of hot or cold temperature variants. Turbulence, high air velocities, and imbalances within the area can lead to air bubbles forming in the dough, causing it to dry and result in a lower-quality final product.
Proper climate control is also crucial during the baking process. The quality of the crust is significantly influenced by air velocities and humidity levels within the area. High-velocity air jets from metal ducts can lead to rapid and uneven loss of heat and moisture, resulting in uneven crust formation in bread and other bakery products. In contrast, fabric air ducts gently distribute air at low velocities, allowing each product to bake evenly, preserving its quality.
Ensuring Hygienic Conditions
Maintaining hygiene is a top priority in food production facilities. Facilities with exceptionally high standards face significant challenges including steam, oil, and dirt. Metal duct systems with ridges and hard-to-reach openings increase the risk of dirt accumulation, making cleaning difficult and costly.
In contrast, permeable fabric ducts allow air to pass through their surface continuously, preventing dust or dirt accumulation. When necessary, the ducts can be removed and washed, much like curtains. Unlike metal ducts, fabric ducts do not promote the growth of mold and bacteria due to condensation, and they are not prone to damaging corrosion. This facilitates cleaning and maintenance tasks, saving both time and labor costs, while extending the system’s operational life.
Healthy Working Environment
A healthy working environment is of paramount importance in food production facilities. Fabric air ducts play a significant role in providing a comfortable atmosphere for employees and preventing the transportation of flour dust through air currents. Flour dust can cause employees to develop allergies and experience respiratory problems.
In the Turkish Do & Co kitchen, where meals are prepared for 80,000 people every day, a fabric duct system has been implemented. In areas where frozen products are produced, employees often suffer from frequent illnesses due to exposure to high-velocity airflows. Fabric duct systems distribute air at very low velocities, particularly in cold areas, preventing employees from falling ill due to drafts and stopping flour dust from being carried through the air. Opting for fabric air ducts not only provides employees with high indoor air quality but also reduces sick leave, contributing to the overall efficiency of the operation.
In conclusion, fabric air ducts offer substantial advantages in food production facilities. They provide uniform air distribution, preserve product quality, ensure hygiene, and create a healthy working environment for employees. Whether it is a large-scale production facility or a restaurant, fabric air ducts play a pivotal role in the production of consistent, high-quality products while safeguarding the health of employees.
For further information on the success stories and applications mentioned in this article, check out the relevant sources below!
Get valuable content first
Enter your email and be among the first to get tips and articles from our experts about HVAC industry topics.