15 Apr Key parameters for a wet food product
- pH is critical to most food products as high acidity can prevent microbiological growth of either pathogens or spoilage organisms, thus affecting your product’s shelf life.
- Temperature – heating foodstuffs or liquids can inactivate or kill the microorganisms like pathogens or spoilage organisms, thus enabling your product to be safe for a longer time.
- Filling temperature is also very important as contaminates in the packaging can cause the product to later spoil.
- Moisture content – moisture content is so critical to ensuring the product has very little water available for microorganisms to use to sustain their metabolism. Examples of this are drying or dehydrating the food i.e. beef jerky, dried fruits, baked goods like biscuits where the moisture has been evaporated off during the cooking process
- Water activity is critical to determining when a product needs heat treatment in order to be shelf stable.
- Packaging – choosing the right packaging is key to protecting the food or beverage during its storage. Key parameters in the formulation and the process then dictate what type of packaging is best to protect the product. g. retortable pouches, heat stable plastics for hot filling, films with minute holes in it for permitting gases to enter or not enter, darkened glass bottles to stop the light entering and causing colour fading or oxidation reactions.