Global Processing

Fish factory stops losing product into thin air

September 25, 2013

JS HumidifiersA recently installed humidifier helped refrigeration-equipment specialist ICS Cool Energy increase profits at a leading worldwide brand of canned fish by $1 million per year.

By maintaining high humidity after steaming, evaporative weight loss from the cooked fish was cut from about 5% to 0.67%. Up to 8.5 tons of product is prevented from simply evaporating away each day between cooking and canning.

After steaming, the fish is rapidly cooled to be processed and canned but can lose up to 20% of its moisture, impacting its weight significantly. As the factory processes up to 200 tons of fish each day, evaporation severely impacts product yield.

ICS Cool Energy was tasked by its longstanding client to find a cost-effective replacement to its existing cool room sprinkler system, which was inefficient in terms of energy and water usage.

Steps taken

Malcolm Edwards, group technical manager, ICS Cool Energy, says what he did next: “ICS installed a chilled water system but contacted JS Humidifiers regarding the humidifier.”

ICS Cool Energy Ltd., New Milton, U. K., is a maker of heating and cooling equipment with a presence in continental Europe. Its equipment line includes standard and energy-efficient industrial chillers and cooling towers, oil, water and pressurized water tool heaters, temperature controllers, HVAC technology and renewable energy through heat pumps.

JS Humidifiers, Littlehampton, U.K., is a maker of humidification equipment and systems for all industrial and commercial applications vice of “advice, design, supply, installation and maintenance.”

The “JetSpray,” specified for the application, has been in operation now for a number of months keeping the humidity well over the required 90%RH and maintaining a very low 0.67% weight loss.

“The energy and water savings are a bonus,” Edwards says, “and economies will also be achieved through its easy maintenance program. All in all, our client could not be happier, and neither could we.”

Why it works

The JetSpray humidifier combines compressed air and water in precision-engineered nozzles to produce a very fine spray that’s rapidly absorbed by the air. This makes it ideal for use in cold stores where the ambient humidity is often high and humidification less readily absorbed by the atmosphere. The line of nozzles is positioned in front of the evaporator coils of the refrigeration system and introduces moisture to the airstream as it enters the cold store.

The system’s hygienic design makes it appropriate for food-processing facilities. The humidifier incorporates regular automatic flush-and-purge cycles to ensure water can’t stay stagnate in the system. The JetSpray can operate any potable water or demineralized supply and incorporate UV sterilization or silver-ion water treatment.

The nozzles have a self-cleaning mechanism, which consists of a pin that pushes through the nozzle orifice whenever the spray stops. This prevents blockages in the nozzle and ensures the system operates robustly in industrial environments with very little required maintenance.