Loss-On-Drying moisture analysis seemed like a simple process until, in a state of naïve bliss, I promised to look at evaporation, vapor pressure and bound water. While I was otherwise occupied with these realities, I offered to enter the world of witchcraft and folklore; water activity.
Last week, as I was reflecting on a recent moisture content problem, I recalled our series “Loss-on Drying and Other Moisture Mysteries.” In that series I examined moisture chemistry in products. However, I did little to define moisture content.
The answer to the question, “How Long Does a Water Activity Test Take?” is, as with most testing questions, “it depends.” Some water activity meters promise a test completed in a very short time; some in as little as five minutes. This time is an arbitrary selection that may or may not produce a satisfactory result.Read More
At one end of the spectrum of the moisture world is the classic Speedy Moisture Tester where you use the reaction of water with calcium carbide to cause a mini explosion resulting in a moisture measurement reading. This method is used frequently for soils, concrete, and other like materials.
Many accessing our web site ask questions such as:
“How does water content affect water activity?”
"How is water activity different from water content?”
”Can I convert from moisture to water activity?”
I previously commented on water activity and now hope to clarify the differences between water activity and moisture content. Given that both of these measurements deal with water connected to a material, we must first understand of water content in a product.
The other day, I woke up with a lingering quandary: Are the concepts of
Moisture Content and Water Activity the same thing?
As usual, I’ve decided to take on the task of clarifying the difference. I hope I pull it off.
From the perspective of someone who supplies instruments that measure moisture content, water activity has not been a primary consideration. However, I believe that comparison and contrast of these important concepts will be useful.