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Sheba Jones
Sheba Jones

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Salt has the same ability to bind to water as sugar

How To Prolong Food Shelf Life Jam, for example, has a high moisture content but is relatively low water activity measure (around 0.75 – 0.8). This is because the sugar binds to the water, making it unavailable for microbial growth. Salt has the same ability to bind to water as sugar, which is why it is challenging to reduce salt and sugar when reformulating a healthier product, especially if preservatives are also not used. Back to the top Product Formulation: Additives Additives, such as preservatives and acidity regulators, can be used to increase the shelf life of a product. The pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of something. Most often in food and drink products, an acidity regulator, such as citric acid, is used to ensure the product has a consistently low (acidic) pH as most bacteria prefer a neutral pH around 6.5 – 7.0. Preservatives, such as sulphites, are also frequently used in long life products such as wine and dried fruits. The ‘clean label’ trend has driven the reformulation of many supermarket products with claims such as ‘no nasties’ and ‘no artificial preservatives’ now expected from consumers. The demand for fewer allergens also affects sulphite containing products because sulphites are one of the 14 named allergens. Products aiming to comply with ‘clean label’ ideals are more difficult to formulate to have the same shelf life as their high sugar, salt and preservative-containing competitors.

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