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Moisture & Oil in Potato Chips  

Moisture Measurement and Control is extremely important in the production of potato chips. Not only does it impact the taste, but also the texture and shelf-life.

Oil measurement is required for labeling and is needed to ensure consistency in the flavor of the chips, and provides important process information concerning the replacement of slicing knives.

Both measurements can be made off-line, but on-line measurement is advantageous as feedback is more immediate. The moisture measurement can be used in an automatic control loop by interfacing with SCADA systems.

Chip Manufacturing Process
Potatoes are peeled, sliced and de-starched prior to Frying and Seasoning. Measurements of oil and moisture are typically made shortly after the exit of the Fryer and after the Seasoning Cylinders prior to packaging. Moisture measurement at the exit of the Fryer can be used in closed loop control of the Fryer to optimize % moisture. This results in greater product consistency, longer shelf-life and less waste material.

Gauge Installation
Gauges are typically installed after the Fryer over the Vibrating Conveyor, and prior to packaging at the exit of the Seasoning Drum. Post Fryer, the gauge should be positioned a minimum of 1 meter from the exit, in order to allow a degree of equilibration to occur, and to minimize noise induced by rapid vaporization of surface moisture. If possible, the gauge should be mounted 10” above the chips, this allows for most variation in bed depth.

If using the gauge in a control loop, it is very important to ensure there is a continuous run of product beneath the gauge and of sufficient bed depth, to prevent the gauge from viewing the conveyor belt. An ideal measurement location at the exit of the seasoning drum, is on the drop from the Drum onto the Conveyor leading to the Bucket Conveyor.

The Food Grade MCT 300 is designed to meet the strict hygiene and safety requirements of a food manufacturing plant. It is electro less nickel coated and houses a Kel F or sapphire window. The MCT 300 is fitted with a sensor window air purge diffuser to provide a positive pressure thereby minimizing deposition of oil on the window.

The elevated temperatures found at the exit of the fryer require the gauge to be fitted with an air/water cooling panel and/or a Vortex Air Cooler.

 
 

Measurement Performance
Moisture in potato chips is a very well understood and documented application. Measurement wavelengths, algorithms, and sensor optical parameters are pre-set at the PSC factory. Gauges are Pre-calibrated on actual product to facilitate “start-up”.

 
Measurement Location Target % Typical Accuracy%
Moisture Exit Fryer
Exit Seasoning Drum
0-5%
0-2.5%
+/- 0.15%
+/- 0.15%
Oil Exit Fryer 20-40% +/- 0.5%
 
 
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  Process Sensors Moisture Transmitters

MCT 460: Used in a wide variety of industrial processes, the MCT 460 Multi-Constituent NIR Transmitter, a True Stand-Alone Transmitter, provides off-line accuracy under on-line operating conditions. Read more about the MCT 460 moisture sensors...

MCT 460-T: The MCT 460-T measures moisture... the most critical variable in tobacco processing... providing the world's most accurate, reliable and stable moisture measurement for the tobacco industry. Read more about the MCT 460-T moisture measurement tool...

MCT 460-WP: The MCT 460-WP uses a well proven algorithm which works on a wide range of wood varieties and forms. You choose the mode of operation, stand-alone or networked. Read more about the MCT 460-WP moisture measurement tool...

MCT 330HD: The MCT 330HD features a heavy duty stainless steel enclosure, is resistant to high temperatures, is sealed for wash down environments, and provides reliable, continuous moisture measurement. Read more about the MCT 330HD moisture measurement tool...

MCT 466-SF: The MCT 466-SF features a food grade optical window, a robust stainless steel enclosure, and reliably operates in high temperature locations, measuring moisture, oil & product temperatures. Read more about the MCT 466-SF moisture measurement tool...

MCT 466 QuikCheck: Used for quality control in a wide variety of industrial processes, the MCT 466 QuikCheck bench top NIR Tester provides fast accurate results every time. Read more about the MCT 466 QuikCheck moisture analyzer...

GUARDIAN: The Guardian Scanning Frame System is comprised of three components: MCT-460 NIR Transmitter, the automated Scanning Frame and a PC with Automated Guardian Profile Software. Read more about the GUARDIAN Scanning Frame System...