You may have questions about using culinary steam in your production process, how it might affect your product, or be concerned that you are adding too much water to your process. A standard in most food plants, culinary steam is safe for food, and it can be used to blanch, rehydrate, and sterilize food products. Hydro-Thermal is the leader of proven direct steam injection (DSI) technology, which includes culinary steam. The following five questions and answers will help address concerns about consumable culinary steam.
What Makes Steam Culinary?
Any time steam enters a production system, it must go through a complete filtration system. 3A guidelines require steam filtering to use a maximum particle size of 5 microns.
Boilers utilize pH adjustment, oxygen scavenging, and descaling chemicals for processing needs. Any chemicals integrated into the process must be FDA food-grade and conform to the approved list of boiler chemicals. These chemicals do not travel with steam and stay in the boiler because their boiling points are much higher than water.
For example, amines are chemicals commonly used to keep condensate returns clean and corrosion-free. But since this chemical is not food-grade, it cannot be used in systems requiring culinary steam.
Is Steam Cooking in Food a Common Practice?
In short - yes. The world’s largest companies utilize steam and Hydro-Thermal’s patented DSI products in their product processing. Hydro-Thermals’ heating systems help facilities process meat, produce soups, sauces, fruit products, baby food, tomato paste/sauces, dairy, milk, cheese, vegetables, and much more.
How Is My Product Formulation Affected by Adding Steam?
Steam is sterile water, so it does not alter the product’s taste and can be added to the existing water already captured on an ingredient statement. Many food and beverage companies already incorporate steam in their processing systems without issues, and in most cases, the product results in better quality, texture, and taste.
How Much Water Is Added During Steam Cooking?
The general rule of thumb is 1% water for every 10° temperature rise. Since variables like composition and specific heat vary from product to product, the average addition is 8-12% water, yet it can be above or below, depending on the application.
The 8-12% addition of water can occur if Hydro-Thermal equipment thoroughly cooks the product - this percentage can be significantly lower if the equipment is only heating, not boiling, the product. Our staff of Engineers can calculate the exact rate based on specific processing conditions to ensure our DSI technology can best optimize your needs.
Are Hydro-Thermal Products Certified?
Our Hydron Sanitary Hydroheater, Infuze Cooking System, and SilverLine products are all 3A certified. The Infuze Cooking Skid and SilverLine are designed to meet FDA, CE, and EHEDG standards.
Our 3A-certified sanitary systems directly infuse culinary steam into the food, gently and efficiently cooking it and bringing it to its desired temperature. This allows all 100% of the steam’s energy to transfer to the food, which both kettles and heat exchangers cannot offer (80% - 85% energy transfer).
Hydro-Thermal’s patented food and beverage processing systems integrate steam into processed foods and beverages while delivering precise, consistent temperature control, instantaneous heating, and no scaling or fouling of the product in both batch and continuous cooking methods. Our ‘plug and play’ heaters hook directly into a plant through steam connection piping, making for a smaller footprint. For Hydro-Thermal to help improve your production output, we need to know your process conditions and plant setup to create the best design for your requirements. Please fill out this form or contact us here.
For an overview of all of Hydro-Thermal’s products, click here.