The Shelf Life of Bakery Products Simplified with Water Activity

The baked snack industry is a constantly growing market valued a $440 billion. These products typically cover a range of textures, coors, and flavors, and it is critical that they remain safe while maintaining their expected texture and sensory properties. One of the most important factors influencing the quality and shelf life of bakery products in water activity. Water activity control can help prevent or minimize various degradative events such as rancidity, microbiological spoilage, staling, or changes in texture due to water migration. 

Read more: The Shelf Life of Bakery Products Simplified with Water Activity

Water Activity in Cannabis: The role of Water Activity in the Cannabis Industry

Introduction

With the legalization of cannabis-based products for both medicinal and in some locations recreational use, has come the need to implement safety initiatives. Microbial contamination in either dried buds, extracted oils, or processed edibles can result in allergic reactions, respiratory complications, or foodborne illnesses. In addition, breakdown due to chemical reactions can result in changes in efficacy and potency. Water activity is an effective tool used in the food and pharmaceutical industries to maximize microbial, chemical, and physical stability. It provides this same safety and control to the cannabis market and it is important that cultivators and processors understand water activity and how to maximize its usefulness. 

Read more: Water Activity in Cannabis: The role of Water Activity in the Cannabis Industry

Pharmaceutical Trends: Water Activity Measurement USP 922

Water activity has been broadly used in the pharmaceutical industry since the publication in 2006 of USP <1112>, an informational chapter on the application of water activity in pharma. While <1112> provided guidance for the utilization of water activity, it was not an official method.

Now USP has developed USP <922> Water Activity as an official method which will hopefully further facilitate its implementation as an integral part of a pharmaceutical quality program.

Read more: Pharmaceutical Trends: Water Activity Measurement USP 922

Cannabis Science: Understanding the Role of Water Activity in Safety and Quality

Learn more about water activity in Cannabis in this eLearning course that Dr. Brady Carter worked on with ASTM. It is a great way to learn more about why water activity is a required test for Cannabis in most states. 

fig 3

Read more: Cannabis Science: Understanding the Role of Water Activity in Safety and Quality

The Role of Water Activity in Cannabis Quality and Safety

Cannabis-based products for both medicinal and recreational use are gaining in popularity and acceptance. However, if not handled properly, these products can pose a safety issue for consumers. Dried buds, extracted oils, or processed edibles with microbial contamination can result in allergic reactions, respiratory complications, or foodborne illnesses. From a quality standpoint, changes in efficacy and potency due to chemical reactions or structural loss can also result in poor product and lost revenue. Water activity is utilized as an effective tool in the food and pharmaceutical industries to maximize microbial, chemical, and physical stability. It provides this same safety and control to the cannabis market and it is important that cultivators and processors understand water activity and how to maximize its usefulness. Safety regulations for the cultivation and processing of cannabis-based products is currently handled at the state level, resulting in inconsistent recommendations. As a result, not all states currently require water activity testing of cannabis. However, based on its established relationship with common safety and quality modes of failure, it should be one of the most important analytical test run by anyone in the cannabis market. 

Read more: The Role of Water Activity in Cannabis Quality and Safety

A Look at the Importance of Managing Moisture and Water Activity in Pet Food

pfp cover sep 2020Our Application Scientist, Dr. Brady Carter, has been interviewed by Keith Loria at Pet Food Processing magazine for their September 2020 edition. 

Read the article here to learn more about why water activity measurement is so important in pet food processing and how Neutec Group can help!

Shelf Life Simplified: A Water Activity Based Approach

By Dr. Brady Carter

Introduction

The shelf life of a product is defined as the practical time that it remains desirable to consumers. It dictates the radius of distribution for the product, how it must be stored, and its best by date. Failure to match this expected shelf life can result in customer complaints, product recalls, and tarnished reputation. Consequently, correctly determining the optimal production process and handling that maximizes the shelf life and then monitoring to make sure those conditions are met is the difference between profitability and lost revenue. However, correctly determining the shelf life of a product can be a challenging endeavor, often due to a lack of resources and clear guidelines for conducting shelf life testing. The shelf life simplified paradigm takes a pragmatic approach to shelf life determination by using the relationship between water activity and shelf life to guide the process.

Read more: Shelf Life Simplified: A Water Activity Based Approach

Water Activity in Foods: Fundamentals and Applications

water activity in foods

Our Application Scientist, Dr. Brady Carter, is an expert on water activity and moisture sorption with over 20 years of experience as a research scientist. He has presented hundreds of webinars, provided training seminars across the world on all aspects of water activity measurement and application, and has authored numerous publications including his newest chapter published Applications for Dynamic Moisture Sorption Profiles in Foods in Water Activity in Foods: Fundamentals and Applications. 

Page 1 of 2