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?
The consumer push for healthier versions of our favorite foods today is forcing manufacturers to replace ingredients like fat – without compromising the flavor or texture we love. Often, though, replacements negatively affect taste and texture due in part to the way these replacements interact with, and affect moisture in the product. One way to help ensure that “better-for-you” foods provide the experience consumers are looking for is to measure and optimize moisture content.
When it comes to food safety and quality, there are two critical measurements that all food manufacturers should take: moisture content and water activity. That being said, while both measurements might sound similar, they are NOT the same, nor are they interchangeable. Moisture content and water activity are measured for two different purposes, and each reveals their own insights about the yield, quality, and safety of your foods. Even if water activity is your primary concern, accurate moisture content analysis is essential in meeting the established standard, and it’s crucial that you understand the measurements for each.
The importance of moisture measurement is well-known; it’s a step in the manufacturing process that helps ensure product quality and performance, and can help reduce costs of shipping and handling. We’ve recently talked a lot about the different methods of measuring, most recently when used for wood products. In this post we’ll continue using wood products as our example to talk about the two most common secondary types of wood moisture meters: pin-style and pinless, and the best practices that help optimize the usefulness of these meters.
Accurately and consistently measuring moisture – in most any type of product, from plastics to potato chips – has the potential to save organizations millions of dollars a year in improved productivity, reduced waste, increased consistency and improved quality. Measuring, in and of itself, however, is of little value if the companies doing it fail to put protocols in place to ensure that the testing is done correctly and that the results are accurate, consistent, and reliable. Whether you’re in the process of establishing protocols for the first time or looking to improve those already in place, we’ve outlined the most important considerations that should be part of any practical moisture measurement protocol.
Curling in packaging can be a big problem. The question of how to prevent curling in package labels is difficult but there are several options if you are facing this issue.
Accurate measurement of moisture content can mean higher profits for businesses. We know this. You know this.
There are various technologies, methods and instruments to consider when you’re looking to invest in the right test instrument for your needs. The various options can equally be confusing as you weigh up the variables: purchase, cost of labour, skills required, quality of results, mobility, running costs etc.
I’m looking forward to meeting with QA, QC, product development and R&D specialists from some of the world’s most profitable organizations at IFT2014 later this month. As they get ready to learn about the latest in product, ingredient and technology improvements, and how these latest developments will impact their business, I’m getting prepared to wow them with how our innovations in measurement instrumentation will help them realize their quality, product introductions, and profit goals.