Many cake makers start their businesses in their homes and expand to commercial spaces once their companies get too big for their personal kitchens. However, you may find that things that worked in the home may not work well in a commercial environment when you transition to a new space. In particular, you may not get the same results if you store cakes in commercial refrigeration units as you would residential ones because, oftentimes, these commercial appliances have higher levels of humidity which can ruin your baked goods. Here are a few options for regulating humidity levels in your commercial refrigeration appliances so you can protect the quality of your cakes.
Install Dehumidification Filters
Refrigerators and freezers work by removing warm air and excess moisture to create an atmosphere cold enough to preserve food. However, commercial refrigeration units often have high humidity levels for a variety of reasons. Warm air rushes inside the unit each time the door is opened and closed, which creates excess moisture. Foods with high moisture content, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, can also contribute to the amount of moisture in the air. Unlike residential units, commercial refrigeration appliances don't always have mechanisms that allow for manual humidity control.
You can help control the humidity in your refrigerator by installing dehumidification filters or panels. These products absorb moisture from the air to reduce humidity levels inside the appliance. In addition to protecting your cakes, these filters can eliminate odors (gas and smells emitted by food use moisture to travel around the room), extend food shelf life, and decrease energy usage.
Filters are usually installed in the ceiling of the refrigerator or freezer, while panels are typically installed on the walls. Depending on the manufacturer, these products have to be cleaned or replaced every few months. For instance, one manufacturer requires their panels undergo maintenance every 4 to 8 weeks, so you would need to account for that added expense.
Alternatively, you can get a dehumidification machine. Unlike the panels, you can usually adjust the settings on a dehumidification machine to suit your needs. For example, if you decide to store your cakes somewhere else, you can adjust the humidity to the level required by other foods (e.g. cheese). Be aware, though, that using a machine may increase your energy costs.
Have the Evaporator Coil Resized
A second option is to have the evaporator coil on your refrigerator resized. Evaporators are responsible for transferring heat out of the air, among other tasks. This part also helps control humidity by decreasing the temperature of the air passing through to such a low level that moisture condenses and drains away. The trouble is the evaporator can cause high humidity levels in a refrigerator if it's too big for the appliance because it may lead the air to cool too quickly. Part of eliminating extra moisture is allowing the evaporator to run long enough to siphon enough water out of the air. If the air gets cold too fast, the machinery may not run long enough to dehumidify the refrigerator.
It's a good idea to have a professional take a look at your evaporator to ensure it's the right size for your refrigerator. If it's too big, getting a smaller size may help reduce excess moisture in the air more efficiently.
Run the Fan
A third thing you can do is run the fans even when the compressor isn't actively cooling the fridge. The fans will help circulate the air and draw some of the moisture out. If your refrigerator doesn't have a separate fan control, you can sometimes have the appliance altered so that the fan will run constantly whether the cooling system is on or not.
Be aware, though, that making this type of adjustment may void the manufacturer's warranty. Therefore, you should consult your owner's manual first (or call the company) to determine if this is the case before altering your commercial refrigerator.
For more advice on controlling moisture in your commercial fridge or freezer, contact a refrigeration repair company, such as Pro-Staff Mechanical Inc.