Everyone has their favorite go-to snack or comforting baked good craving. Statistics show that 94% of Americans snack on a daily basis. Whether it is chips, chocolate, candy, or anything in between, no consumer can resist a good snack. While it’s important for food manufacturers to worry about perfecting the taste of their food products, it’s equally important to maintain the optimal moisture content. Snack and baked food products are particularly sensitive to moisture — the wrong moisture levels can lead to food spoilage, sogginess, staleness, and even altered taste.
When it comes to designing packaging for fresh produce, the #1 goal of the packaging should be to maximize the freshness and longevity of the product. After all, no one wants to buy “fresh” produce that isn’t fresh anymore, right?
While most food processing plant managers and quality control managers are aware that improper moisture levels can lead to wasted product and food spoilage, have you ever stopped to think about exactly how much these moisture-related problems financially impact your business, or tried quantifying the dollar value yourself?
Have you ever heard the saying, “you get what you pay for?” We’re sure rice farmers have. Because the purchasing price of their rice crop is directly correlated to the crop’s quality, rice farmers know that they must maximize their rice crop’s quality if they want to get the best price. And while it’s hard for rice farmers to avoid any quality issues caused by Mother Nature like droughts or flooding, one way that they can ensure their rice meets the highest possible quality standards is by using a rice whiteness tester to frequently analyze their rice’s quality.
When it comes to research and development, we all know that time is money. The longer it takes to develop and launch a product, the more it will cost – plain and simple. One way today’s manufacturers can reduce costs and accelerate the product development process, however, is by using friction measurement devices to find valuable insights about their products and production process.
Moisture content and fluctuating temperatures are one of the biggest challenges farmers face when it comes to safely storing their grains. In order to make sure stored grain doesn’t spoil during the warmer months, farmers must frequently analyze samples of their stored grain to make sure it’s able to handle the heat. The ideal temperature for storing grain and preventing mold and insect growth is anywhere between 25°F and 60°F, but these storage temperatures can be hard to maintain when outside temperatures are consistently over 80°F during the summer. Freshly harvested grain is particularly challenging to store because of its naturally higher moisture content and temperature. During storage, the grain changes both physically and chemically, and this warmer, wetter grain will respire in its storage bins, producing additional heat and moisture. Consequently, that additional heat and moisture generated during storage leads to hotspot development, mold growth, and mycotoxin development – all of which lead to grain spoilage.
Though virtually unchanged since 1970, the familiar amber vials used by pharmacists for decades have recently fallen under scrutiny. In 2013, an industry-driven initiative to expand US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) packaging classification systems sparked dialogue between regulators, manufacturers, and contract packagers and repackagers about improving packaging integrity regulations for determining the level of barrier protection provided by packaging systems. These new changes were implemented to maximize the shelf life of liquid and solid oral dosage forms by eliminating moisture vapor permeation in the packaging. At the time, USP specified the categories of “well-closed” and “tight” in its classification, with the latter used much more frequently. However, certain medications require packaging beyond “tight”—requiring no moisture permeation. Now, two years later, drug makers are using modern testing instruments and special testing techniques to improve product stability and shelf life under the new standards.
Moisture is often referred to as the food industry’s biggest adversary, with food manufacturers citing moisture regulation as one of their top challenges. From the manufacturing line all the way down to the grocery store shelves, a fine balance of moisture must be maintained to ensure critical components remain stable during a food product’s journey. If moisture content is too high, certain foodstuffs can develop mold; if moisture content is too low, the product might get stale or crust.
Today’s consumers are demanding longer-lasting, lightweight textiles and better textile treatment coatings. In order to obtain the increased market share and the economic rewards that accompany it, textile and coating manufacturers are pushing the envelope and looking for answers. Friction analysis tools offer a number of far-reaching solutions for these companies, as advancements in the ability to accurately analyze friction in both laboratory, near-line and field environments give textile and treatment manufacturers the ability to meet the demand for higher-performing textiles, and reap the economic and environmental benefits these innovations provide.
When it comes to keeping your employees safe on the job, research suggests you should start with your floors and work your way up. According to Staples’ third-annual workplace safety survey, one in five workers report slipping, tripping, and falling at work as their biggest concern, with accidents involving slips, trips, and falls ranking as the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims.