Water activity refers to the way water interacts with microorganisms within a sample. A higher water activity level suggests a greater chance of microbial growth, while a lower water activity level indicates a reduced growth potential, leading to a longer, more stable shelf-life.
A device called a water activity meter is utilized to gauge the level of water activity.
In the realm of the food industry, if the water activity falls below 0.60 aw, it is deemed shelf-stable even without the need for refrigeration.
Products with water activity ranging from 0.60 to 0.85 aw do not necessitate refrigeration but have a restricted lifespan on the shelf.
On the other hand, any products with water activity above 0.85 aw will require refrigeration or some other method to prevent the growth of microbes.
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