Moisture is one of the key components of a food commodity that is traded, eaten or used in other formats. In the world of food trade the benchmark analysis primarily revolves around moisture component at the basic level, as, of all the kinds of nutrients that a commodity is comprised off, moisture is the key construct.
Moisture content in a food material determines the suitability of the food material for consumption or processing as moisture has the potential to alter physical and chemical components of food, which in turn determines whether food has freshness and stability imbedded in it for storage for a longer time span.
The analysis of moisture content in a product is what determines its qualitativeness. It is the key function of quality control in majority of production processes. Be it a research organization engaged in biological research, food producers and traders, an entity producing pharmaceuticals, it is the moisture component that is the benchmark to ascertain physical properties and quality of products of all the substances and materials, a determining factor through the product cycle from raw form right up to the processed state.
It is an innocuous moisture that has the ability to alter the following properties by minute deficiency or miniscule abundance and it includes:
- Weight change
- Thermal expansion in the product
- electrical conductivity and amalgamation
In a processed product the moisture component determines the shelf life, the chemical reactions that would take place in the product while it is kept in an inventory etc. The challenge therefore is to be able to pin-pointedly discern and check optimality of moisture through various levels of processing as success of countless business operations and scientific operations hinge on this ability.
Sample weight resolution is another critical component in the moisture analysis. Moisture determination is considered successful if it is done in a jiffy, i.e. being able to do it at the point of processing and brining about necessary changes so that it does not alter the product integrity.
This being the case, moisture testing should have been a key component of all the food based products being used in all kind of industries and that too at the source. However, the NACL accredited laboratories are only 28 in number which have the potential to undertake the moisture tests.
In the present times- COVID time that is- testing of the moisture component is a big headache as most of the laboratories are closed and on account of the lock down the quality professionals have left. But technology has come to the rescue and AgNext is leading this change through its AI driven software which has the ability to do rapid sample testing and provide the results within a shortest turnaround time.
The simplicity of the technology has to be seen to be believed and the practitioners need to test the product out to understand its importance.