Laboratory Products

Water Activity Meter Saves Time and Money for Charcuterie Producer

Apr 10 2018 Read 169 Times

Labcell Ltd has supplied a Decagon Devices (Meter Group) AquaLab Pawkit portable water activity meter to Chiddingstone Farm for testing the salt-cured lamb, mutton, goat and venison that it produces.

Sending samples for laboratory analysis took days and incurred a cost each time. Now, with the Pawkit available at all times, cured meat can be tested and sliced immediately, then vacuum packed ready for sale.

Environmental health officers and independent laboratories spell out the need to measure the water activity of cured meats for storing at ambient temperatures. The FSA (Food Standards Agency) also has guidelines covering water activity, pH, temperature and other factors relating to the production of cured meat products. While some producers still rely on shrinkage to indicate a reduction in moisture content, water activity is a far more reliable indication of food safety, as controlling water activity is vital in inhibiting microbial growth.

Making a measurement with the Pawkit is just a matter of opening the sensor cover, placing the Pawkit over a standard AquaLab sample cup and pressing a button. The result is ready within five minutes. Moreover, there is no need to operate the Pawkit in a laboratory environment, as it is sufficiently robust that it can be used in production areas.

Labcell is the sole UK distributor for the AquaLab Pawkit portable water activity meter. Go to www.labcell.com to contact Labcell for more information or to request a demonstration.

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