Water Activity and Food explores the role of water activity in the water relations of microorganisms and in food processing, packaging, and storage. It reviews the literature and provides numerous examples demonstrating the use of water activity to predict the reactions of microorganisms or the stability of food components. It also highlights cases where water activity is not a reliable predictor of events and considers some interesting interactions with other environmental parameters.
Comprised of 11 chapters, this volume begins with an overview of water in foods and solutions, water activity values for foods, and water relations of enzyme activity. It then discusses lipid oxidation, enzyme reactions and non-enzymatic browning, and several other food-related factors. The reader is also introduced to water relations of microbial growth; the effects of water on microbial survival; the spoilage and preservation of foods at various levels of water activity; the water relations of food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and toxigenic molds; the importance of water activity in non-microbiological aspects of food processing and storage; and the influence of atmospheric relative humidity on sanitation and the protection of food products.
This book is an important source of information for researchers in food microbiology and microbial water relations.