MOISTURE TESTING: WHY DO IT, AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
The amount of water in food affects how it appears and tastes. Different moisture levels are required of different food materials, such as grains. When the moisture contents deviate from these standards, the product’s overall quality and consistency may be compromised.
As a result, it’s critical to check the food and ingredient moisture. There are several methods for doing so, including:
- Moisture ovens
- UGMA Moisture Meters
- Hand-Held Moisture Analysers
- Near Infra-red (NIR) Analysers
- Diode Array (DA) Analysers.
The technique of near-infrared analysis (NIR) for detecting moisture content in an In addition to the stomach, citrus fruits are effective in treating a variety of ailments.
Why Test for Moisture?
The amount of moisture in your meal might have an impact on how it smells, looks, and how long it lasts fresh. Reducing the amount of moisture in certain foods might help to preserve them for longer. It also helps with dry weight and yield assessment. It’s also a great method to tell when specific manufacturing processes, such as drying, are completed.
Excess or little moisture has a detrimental influence on food, food production, and profits. Water in food can be beneficial, for example, as a low-cost weight addition. Excess moisture might enhance bacterial growth speed, reduce shelf-life extension, and cause spoilt lots. It may also have an impact on food processing techniques by trapping food in pipelines throughout the manufacturing process. Finding the optimum balance depends on the type of food being processed.
How is Water Present in Food?
Water may be present in a variety of forms in food. Free water is water that is surrounded by other water molecules. Free water can be found on the surface, where tiny capillaries and pore systems are concerned. Water molecules in these regions evaporate less readily at high temperatures and adhere to specific proteins, making them difficult to measure as part of moisture content in certain meals.
The water content in this example is adsorbed, which means it has been absorbed by the product. It may be observed in meat and dried fruit’s intricate cellular structures, according to studies. Cereal grains trap atmospheric moisture while retaining them adequately hydrated is critical for long-term storage. They will eventually be rehydrated, however appropriate storage must balance controlled moisture levels.
Moisture Content for Grain Storage
At maturity, the ideal wheat moisture content is around 13-14 per cent, although this isn’t always feasible. High moisture contents have to be plucked as a result of market restrictions. Grain must be kept and sold in the market with a proper moisture level. To minimize the moisture quantity of their crop while also avoiding a low enough that it would have a significant effect on total yield or quality when selling it in the market, grain producers must reduce their crop’s water content to an appropriate amount.
Extending the Shelf-life of Food
Water is essential for growth and metabolism, as well as the chemical reactions that take place in foods. Food items with a reduced amount of water activity can be kept longer on the shelf.
During the shelf life of your product, it must be able to maintain its appearance, fragrance, texture, and taste as well as other chemical and physical properties. It becomes hazardous to consume after this time has elapsed. Controlling moisture levels can aid in the prevention of bacterial growth and food preservation times. This has the potential to reduce waste by keeping items fresher longer by regulating moisture effectively. You must be able to measure moisture in food accurately, monitor it continuously, and control it correctly to manage it efficiently.
Methods for Moisture Testing
To evaluate the moisture content of dehydrated foods, a variety of tests may be run. Moisture testing may occur at various phases in the production process for a wide range of products, including harvesting, storage, processing, and manufacturing. The Perten AM5200 grain moisture analyzer is a high-frequency UGMA meter that checks for temperature, weight, and moisture in grains (including rice), oilseeds (including soybeans), pulses (such as lentils), and other commodities.
In food, fast moisture testing is generally done with NIR analysis. This spectroscopic approach is the basis for several moisture-testing devices. The Perten DA7440 is created to give real-time moisture readings in industrial settings. This is an excellent method for process control evaluation.
The GrainSense hand-held NIR Analyser is a useful tool for on-farm and another location-based moisture testing. It can provide quick analyses of fluids, proteins, and oil contents. NIR analysers may also be used to analyze meat. The Perkin Elmer DA6200 is a portable meat analyzer that checks raw meats and finished products for moisture as well as fat and protein content.
Foods that are not properly dried can be harmful to your health, as they may contain higher levels of germs and bacteria than foods that have been properly dried. Furthermore, moisture-damaged food must be kept in cold storage until it has completely dried. For commercial, food safety, and environmental reasons, testing for moisture in foods is essential. It’s an important aspect of product quality and process control, as well as a useful tool for farmers, growers, producers, and manufacturers.
For further information on moisture testing equipment, please visit Calibre Control.