Measuring Moisture in Cereals

Knowledge of the moisture content at the cooker’s, extruder’s and the toaster’s exit provides useful information for maintaining the consistency of the cereal’s shape, flavor and texture, as well as maximizing product yield, decreasing scrap and lowering energy costs.

On-line measurements provide real-time data, allowing for more precise process management compared to data evaluated in a lab.

Cereal Production Process

The processes vary; however, an example might include: A Mixing stage when dry and liquid components are blended, a Cooker, Former or Extruder, Cutter, Flaking Roll, Cooler, Dryer/Toaster, Froster/Sprayer and Dryer.

Measurement Location

Moisture measurement at the Cooker’s outlet, before the Former, eliminates misshapes caused by product adhering or dissolving during the flaking process. Moisture assessment after toasting allows for maximum final moisture, which improves yield without affecting flavor, texture or shelf-life properties.

Gauge Installation

The gauge is usually mounted over a conveyor, about 8" away from the product. If the gauge is utilized in closed-loop control of the toaster or dryer, it is critical to ensure sufficient product bed depth to cover the conveyor and continuous product flow.

The gauge should be placed several feet away from the toaster/exit, as this gives the product the chance to achieve a degree of equilibration. If feasible, take measurements on a well-mixed product; a good spot is after a brief drop from one conveyor to another.

A food-grade electroless nickel casing and either a kel F polymeric or sapphire viewing window are included with the Food Grade MCT466-SF on-line NIR sensor. If the ambient temperature surpasses 55 ºC, an alternative water/air cooling panel or vortec cooler is available.

Measurement Performance

Source: KPM Analytics

Measurement Location Range % Typical Accuracy %
Moisture Exit of Pelletizer 9-15% 0.25%


[Image Credit: KPM Analytics]


Image Credit: KPM Analytics

Image Credit: KPM Analytics

Image Credit: KPM Analytics

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by KPM Analytics.

For more information on this source, please visit KPM Analytics.


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