Water activity measurement in all industries and areas

When it comes to the quality of food, pharmaceutical products or cosmetics, bacterial attack, mould, discoloration, texture and taste changes are taboo.

The free water has a great influence on all these effects. A water activity measurement does not measure the content of free water in the sample, but its condition. This information can be used to make a microbiological risk assessment or to optimize production processes or storage conditions.

Most common quality issues in pharmaceuticals are linked to decomposition of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) or by water migration between shell and filling of a soft or hard gelatine capsule. Performing a water activity measurement provides you reliable and important information about the status of free water in your product and its impact on quality and stability of ingredients in the final product. Control of water activity is therefore appropriate for quality control but also supports product development as well, if new formulations are to be created.
Water in cheese plays a major role when it comes to properties of cheese paste, desired microbiological metabolism processes which take place during cheese ripening. The influence of water activity and water content to the quality of cheese is rather complex, not only because of the chemical composition but also due to changing inner environments during ripening. Greatest importance herewith is the salt solution treatment which regulates water activity by salt ingress and a series of organoleptic and sensory properties. In addition, water activity is a key factor for non-cooled tinned food where alcohol is added for preservation and to decreased water activity levels. 
The use of water activity in chocolate industry is multifaceted but have mainly two goals: Ensure microbial safety and avoid water migration which can spoil texture and taste. It starts in R&D where raw materials are carefully selected to align water activity levels within the product by specific formulations or implementation of edible barriers to avoid water migration.  On the other hand, use of water activity measurement in production areas is also common, either for intermediates (ganache) or final product to get an idea about risk of microbial growth. 
novasina_water_activity_Pet food
As versatile pet food is, so are the problems this industry is struggling with. It is a thin line between preventing microbial growth due to elevated water activity value and unacceptable product texture due to too low aw-values. In addition, every manufacturer wants to leave as much water as possible in the product to profit economically but without putting himself on the line. One of the main reasons, why water activity is a widely accepted parameter in this industry sector.

Precise aw measurements of your products

Secure your production by using our measuring instruments to measure the water activity of your products - for every application in all industries.