Mold spores and moisture are always present in the air and this means that damage to your products can occur at any time during production, storage and shipment. Mold will grow as long as there is sufficient moisture and it has a food source. More specifically, mold needs relative humidity levels of 60% or higher to grow, and any organic material including dirt, dust and oil is a food source.
Effective prevention requires factories to focus on the following important steps:
1. Maintain a clean factory environment – There should not be any visible mold growing anywhere in the factory, production lines and equipment should be cleaned regularly, and there should not be any leaks or standing water.
2. Practice proper material management – Mold spores will always exist on raw materials, packaging materials and finished goods. Materials must be properly managed so they are kept clean and dry at all times which will prevent both the accumulation and growth of mold spores.
3. Humidity control – Create an environment inside the factory, particularly in the raw materials and finished goods warehouse, where the relative humidity is maintained below 60% at all times. Mold will not grow if the environment is sufficiently dry.
4. Ensure specialized equipment is functioning – More often than not specialized equipment such as UV tunnels are not being used properly and are not eliminating mold. Factories however become overly reliant on these tools which in turn leads to lapses elsewhere in their mold prevention practices, and this is how problems can start.
5. Protect finished goods with anti-mold products and desiccants – Your goods are at highest risk during shipment which is also when you have little to no control over environmental conditions. The most effective preventive measure is to use anti-mold products and desiccants within the packaging to protect your goods.
6. Ensure the shipping container is dry and damage-free – When containers pass through different climactic zones the changes in temperature can cause condensation to form within the container. Factories therefore need to minimize the amount of moisture introduced into the container, and use container desiccants to absorb the excess moisture.
The ultimate goal is for factories to pack products “clean and dry”, and thereafter to use an anti-mold product or desiccant to stop the residual mold spores on the products from growing during shipment. Achieving this requires establishing quality controls at every stage in production from manufacturing to final delivery.
Micro-Pak offers unrivalled technical services including factory assessments and training to help vendors eliminate issues from the point of production. Micro-Pak technicians based in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India assess over 3,500 factories in 15 countries every year. We also supply best-in-class anti-mold products and desiccants to protect your finished goods during storage and shipment.