Determination of Moisture Content in Food
The determination of moisture content in food during the production and packaging processes is crucial to ensure the quality and safety of the product.
In this article, we answer ‘what is moisture content in food’ and discuss the importance of water content in food, how to determine moisture content in food and how Precisa Moisture Analyzers can help aid your food moisture content analysis.
What is Moisture Content in Food?
Moisture content in food can be defined as any water within the food product. Excess moisture can get into the food from several sources such as the atmospheric moisture from the production and packing areas, packaging method or food storage. To optimise food quality and safety, the moisture in these areas should be carefully monitored and controlled.
Importance of Water Content in Food
Knowing and controlling the water content in food is vital to ensure consistently high standards of products. The water content in food can affect several attributes of food products including:
Water content in food can also alter the weight of the product, which influences its price. In certain foods, the water content is regulated with legal limits, for example poultry must only contain up to 7% water according the EU regulations. Determination of moisture content in food is important as products that exceed this can still be sold but it must clearly be displayed that the product exceeds the EU limit. Such limitations stop manufacturers using water to increase the weight of the product to charge customers higher prices.
The quality of food is also affected by the water content. Excess moisture can lower the products resistance to bacteria. This will shorten the shelf-life of the food, lower the quality and contribute to food waste. You can read more about Controlling the Moisture content of Food to Control Food Waste in our previous article.
Best Method for Determination of Moisture Content in Food
There are several methods for the determination of moisture content in food, depending on the needs of the business and specific test being carried out.
- Distillation – Solvent with a high boiling point is mixed with the food. T water content is then boiled off, however this can cause an unwanted chemical reaction. Distillation can also be time consuming, and equipment will take up laboratory space.
- Hydrometry – The moisture content is determined using the specific gravity of the food. This technique is limited to liquids such as brines and beverages.
- Loss on Drying – Sample is weighed, heated and reweighed to measure the loss of mass after drying. Traditionally this is carried out using a drying oven however this can take hours out of production to allow the product to dry. Moisture analyzers for food analysis offer the ability to calculate loss on drying quickly and easily.
Determine the Moisture Content in Food with Precisa’s Moisture Analyzers
Precisa’s moisture analyzers provide a fast and convenient determination of moisture content in food. With the food industry in mind, each of our models is available with a halogen heating element without glass to meet industry guidelines.
Our single device can provide accurate moisture analysis in minutes, saving both laboratory space and valuable time and allowing to production of food products to progress efficiently.
With our moisture analyzers, moisture content can be determined in just 3 easy steps:
- Weigh Initial Sample
- Set parameters (temperature and time) and dry
- Reweigh dried sample and compare to initial weight to calculate the loss on drying
Precisa’s range of moisture analyzers also allow you to save up to 100 drying methods, saving even more time when setting up your analysis.
If you’d like to hear more about how our moisture analyzers can be used to in your food analysis, contact our sales team today.
Precisa’s Moisture Analyzers
Our Application Scientists have carried out research to determine the moisture content of food in the following products:
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