Humidity Control In Fresh Produce Industry – Reality Check!

Humidity control, or rather the lack thereof, is one of the most neglected aspects of the fresh produce chain.

Very few, if any:

  • of the primary participants in the fresh produce chain, from farm packhouse to fresh produce market to wholesaler to retailer enforce humidity control as a key component of their HACCP protocols
  • food auditing entities (both in-house and independent) include humidity control in their auditing practices and reporting tending to focus on ambient/core temperature and bacterial swaps as their primary indicators of good/safe food handling/storage practises
  • professionals in the wider food preparation & manufacturing sector record relative humidity levels on their cold storage charts – they only tend to focus on ambient temperature readings
  • food scientists, food-related academics, food consultants and food safety training personnel give any attention to RH
  • food safety training manuals actually mention the word ‘humidity” or ‘relative humidity’

Fresh produce such as fruit & vegetables require a minimum of 85% to 90% to maintain qualitative condition.- one of the reasons by 20% of the world’s produce does not reach the end consumer!

Fresh hanging meat requires 82% constant RH to prevent excessive weight loss, loss of colour and texture.

Winemakers can reduce wine evaporative losses in wine barrel cellars by 50% where a cellar has a constant RH of 80%

Go to  for further information on humidity control and why same is absolutely necessary in the wide food production/manufacturing/preparation/retail space.