Process Sensors (Europe) Limited
Process Sensors

 Applications - Snack Foods

 

Why Measure?

Crisps and other snack foods will have specific target moisture and oil values in order to achieve a consistent product with the correct taste and texture characteristics.
Online measurement of moisture and oil in crisps enables prompt corrective action to be taken if readings are too high or too low.    Laboratory analysis is time consuming and less representative, particularly when it comes to crisp oil measurement as oil content can vary greatly from crisp to crisp.  By the time the lab results are available the crisps will be packaged, so not only is product wasted but also packaging materials and the energy costs involved.
Product temperature, and more recently colour measurement have been added to the traditional moisture and oil NIR measurements adding to the versatility of the MCT 360, this multiple measurement unit is the MCT Multiplex.

 

 

Snack Food Applications

  • Crackers sprayed with oil & flavourings
  • Extruded products - moisture & oil
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels

Sensor

The MCT360-FG is a food grade moisture and oil sensor available in either an electroless nickel or stainless steel enclosure. This is typically installed at the entrance or exit of the seasoning drum.  The MCT360-FG is available with a vortex cooler for installation at the exit of an oven or fryer or alternatively an MCT 330-SF or MCT 366-SF, these two models are high temperature gauges that operate without a vortex cooler up to 65 degrees Celsius, but do not have the option of configuration without a Processor / display unit.

Accessories and Options
Product loss sensors are available for discontinuous product flows preventing measurement update when product is absent. (Note that a good bed depth of product is essential when product is running, intermittent gaps will cause erroneous readings). An alarm board is available that will enable a visual or audible alarm if an instrument fault condition occurs or if the moisture reading lies outside of the specified operating range.

 

 

 

Gauge outputs, Operator interface & Display

Up to 3 x 4-20MA or 0-10V
RS232 or RS485
Optional bus
Optional Operator Interface and display unit for the CT 360-FG

 

The measurement

Moisture and oil can be measured at several stages along the process line, typical installation locations include exit of a fryer, an oven and a deoiler, also pre and post seasoning  drum and immediately  prior to packaging.  Ideally the gauge should be installed a few feet from the exit of a fryer or oven to allow the product to equilibrate in terms of moisture content.  Oil content will remain more highly variable.  When sampling to validate gauge values it is important to obtain a gauge average over an interval of no less than 10s whilst picking crisps from the surface in line and downstream from the gauge.  Following an initial off-line calibration over the moisture and oil range it is a good idea to collect a minimum of 5 samples and corresponding gauge readings from the line and offset the gauge by the difference between the average values. 

Accuracies of +/- 0.1% should be achievable for moisture and +/- 0.3% for the oil.

 
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