Snack Food
 
 
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Moisture in Crackers  

Control of moisture in crackers is necessary in order to optimize the quality of the product and the production process.

Too high a moisture content will adversely affect the texture and taste, and also shorten shelf-life. Too low a moisture content, results in crackers that damage easily, leading to wastage both before and after packaging. Additionally low moistures cause crackers to “burn” to a greater extent when they pass through the ovens, leading to an undesirable flavor.

Moisture measurements can be made on or off-line. Online measurements greatly improve efficiency; they eliminate the need for routine laboratory moisture testing and provide an instantaneous measurement so that necessary process changes can be implemented sooner.

Off-line moisture measurements are simple, sample a greater product area, and are quicker to effect than using Infrared balances or oven tests.

Cracker Manufacturing Process
Mixed dough is fed into a laminator, the “sheet” of dough passes under gauge rolls and into a rotary cutter, scraps and re-workable material is fed back into the laminator. The crackers continue through the oven and cooler, onto a transfer conveyor, which transports them to the packaging area.

Gauge Installation
The sensor is usually located several feet down line from the oven exit, whilst it might be useful to locate it closer to the exit from the point of automatic control of the ovens/ inlet belt speed, it is not recommended, owing to the fact that NIR measurements are essentially surface measurements and a degree of equilibration needs to occur in order to obtain a stable and meaningful measurement.

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; this minimizes fouling of the window, but does not eliminate the need for a routine cleaning procedure. If ambient temperature is greater than 50 șC, air or water cooling of the sensor is recommended.

 
 
Measurement Performance
Measurement Location Target % Typical Accuracy%
Moisture Down line of oven exit 0-8% 0.2%
 
 
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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...