17 April 2024

Benefits of moisture control in noodle processing

Noodles are a type of food made from unleavened dough, which are either rolled flat and cut, stretched, or extruded into long strips or strings. Noodles are a staple food in many Asian cultures and are made in a variety of shapes.

Noodles are made from wheat and flour that are then dried and packaged, for example, as instant noodles. When hot water is applied to instant noodles, they heat and rehydrate, making them suitable for consumption.

Noodles are produced extensively in most of the developed world and on an even larger scale in Asia. The global instant noodle market is projected to grow to USD 81.84 billion by 20291.

Benefits of measuring moisture in the noodle processing:

  • Ensure the dough is the correct moisture to be worked with. Too wet and it becomes sticky, too dry and it crumbles.
  • Calculate the correct amount of water to add to the flour.
  • Mix the dough homogenously and confirm dough is at a suitable moisture to be used by the rolling machine.
  • Provides a final QA check that the dough sheet is at optimum moisture content.

Where do you need to measure moisture?

Hydronix noodle processing sensor installation
Noodle processing diagram

Typically, there are 3 places to install a moisture sensor:

1. In the flour hopper prior to the mixer:

The flour hopper is typically designed to ensure that no build-up occurs on the hopper walls so a sensor with a flat profile such as the Hydro-Mix XT is suitable.

Flour is an explosive dust. A sensor suitable for hazardous dust atmospheres is therefore required. As material is dosed a high-level sensor is used to indicate when there is enough material in the hopper to add to the mixer.

When active, the rotary valve activates and discharges the flour into the mixer and the sensor averages the moisture content of all the material as it flows past. It operates until the low-level sensor is activated and averaging is stopped. The sensor reports the average moisture of the batch.

2. In the mixer

The material is dosed from the flour hopper and then has a few minutes of dry mixing, where the moisture content is measured at the end of the mixing time.

Water is then added to the mixer, and a wet mix is performed before the material is ready to be emptied into a rolling machine or extruder.

Some calibration data:

Hydronix sensor in the mixer

3. After the first set of rollers

After the dough has been formed into a sheet, a Hydo-Mix XT can be installed after the first roller. The sensor value at this stage is used as an input to the cooking and drying process that follows.

Expected Accuracy

A Hydro-Mix XT is installed in the end wall of the mixer. It is expected the accuracy will be better than :

  • Hoppers ±0.5%
  • Mixer ±0.2%
  • After Rollers ±0.5%

Hydro-Mix XT-EX

The Hydro-Mix XT-EX has been designed to measure moisture in flowing bulk solids such as animal feed, grain, rice, pulses, and liquids in an explosive dust environment. The sensor can be easily installed in ducting, conveying, and mixing systems. It is suitable for Zone 20 process environments (Zone 21 external to process).

Comprising a single, intelligent unit that contains all on-board functionality, including signal processing and averaging, the Hydro-Mix XT-EX precisely measures the moisture content of material passing over the ceramic faceplate.

The Hydro-Mix XT-EX can be mounted in many different locations where there is a continuous flow of material across the ceramic faceplate. These include hoppers, ducting, conveyors, and mixer systems.

Hydronix Hydro-Mix XT-EX


During noodle processing, it is crucial to control the moisture in order to obtain a homogenous, high-quality dough that will not crumble or be too sticky. By adding moisture measurement in 3 critical areas, it is possible to cover the entire process and provide complete end-to-end moisture control.

Hydronix has a range of moisture sensors with high precision and accuracy, which can be used in the process. The Hydro-Mix XT-EX will specifically help with the installation into an explosive dust environment, whereas the Hydro-Mix XT can be used in ordinary locations.

  1. https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/instant-noodles-market-101452 ↩︎
Neal Cass

Neal Cass

After gaining his degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Southampton in England, Neal spent 10 years developing and commissioning control systems for a major international food process system manufacturer. In 2007 he started working for Hydronix as a Customer Service and Software Development Engineer before becoming Sales Manager in 2011.
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