Aw actividad acuosa en alimentos
Most AquaLab users voluntarily control their food quality. But, they find peace of mind using the same instrumentation as government regulatory agencies like the USDA and FDA. AquaLab's measurement technique is approved by the AOAC (Association of Analytical Chemists) for monitoring food safety.
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Water activity tells the real story.
Controlling non-enzymatic reactions.
Foods containing proteins and carbohydrates, for example, are prone to non-enzymatic browning reactions, called Maillard reactions. The likelihood of Maillard reactions browning a product increases as the water activity of food increases, reaching a maximum at water activities in the range of 0.6 to 0.7. In some cases, though, further increases in water activity will hinder Maillard reactions. So, for some foods, measuring and controlling water activity is a good way to control Maillard browning problems.
Slowing down enzymatic reactions.
Enzyme and protein stability is influenced significantly by water activity due to their relatively fragile nature. Most enzymes and proteins must maintain conformation to remain active. Maintaining critical water activity levels to prevent or entice conformational changes is important to food quality. Most enzymatic reactions are slowed down at water activities below 0.8. But some of these reactions occur even at very low water activity values. This type of food spoilage can results in formation of highly objectionable flavors and odors. Of course, for foods that are thermally treated during processing, enzymatic spoilage is usually not a primary concern.
Measuring water activity.
The water activity of a food sample can be determined from the relative humidity of the air surrounding