The Importance of Moisture Analysis in Quality Control
You wouldn’t think that the level of moisture in an item would have a large effect on its quality. However, the prevalence of moisture analysis in quality control and production would prove otherwise. This blog will define moisture analysis and outline which industries rely on the moisture analyser tool to provide high-quality products.
Understanding Moisture Analysis
Moisture analysis is the process of determining the precise moisture content in a particular sample. One way to do this is by utilising a moisture analyser. Moisture analysers determine moisture content by undergoing a process called Loss on Drying (LOD). Essentially, you place a small sample on the pan, spreading it as evenly as possible. The moisture analyser first takes the initial weight of the sample. Then, it heats it up to the degree and for the length of time that you’ve set. When the sample is completely dried, the analyser takes the weight again. The moisture reading is determined by subtracting the dried weight from the initial weight. Want to learn how they work more specifically? Read this blog.
Applications of Moisture Analysis in Different Industries
Many of the products you can find on shop shelves have undergone a form of moisture analysis. This is done at multiple points in production as a form of quality control. The amount of moisture in a product may have a massive impact on its taste, texture, and/or shelf life. Thus, it’s extremely important to utilise a moisture analyser.
A moisture analyser would test multiple samples of each product, throughout production, to determine the perfect moisture percentage. Once you've found it, you can then adjust the production process to reproduce those results with every batch. What kind of industries and products benefit from the use of a moisture analyser? Let’s look.
From tea and biscuits to dried fruit and chocolate, these are just a few of the products that need a proper amount of moisture. For example, in the United States, many producers of raisins are legally required to limit moisture content to no more than 18%. As a result of keeping this consistent, raisins have a significantly longer shelf life than fresh grapes.
Other products, like biscuits, need enough moisture to stay a satisfying and tasty snack, while still being able to last on the shelves at the warehouse, store, and your home before consumption. Too much moisture means a lower shelf life, as mould can form quickly, whereas too little moisture and it will either be hard as a rock or crumble like sawdust!
While food that undergoes moisture analysis will typically stay in temperature-controlled environments and are one-use only items, cosmetics must withstand a variety of different environmental conditions and be able to be used repeatedly over time. Just think of the ChapStick in your car as temperatures rise and fall. With too much moisture it would turn to liquid in the summer and ice in the winter, too little moisture and you wouldn’t be able to spread the product on your lips. Producers are required to find the right balance of ingredients and moisture content so that the ChapStick holds its shape in the tube while still being able to hydrate skin.
Cosmetics and biscuits may be luxuries, but certain medicines are necessary to support life, so it is crucial to analyse each batch for moisture content throughout every stage of production. Those who depend on medication may not be able to wait for a replacement should their prescription happen to contain a bad batch.
Recommended Moisture Analysers
Ordered by price, these are our top three recommendations for moisture analysers.
Capacity: 50g – 200g
Readability: 0.001g – 0.01g
The Adam PMB Moisture Analyser offers an automatic test-setting function that enables easy recall of up to 99 frequently used tests of the same items, without requiring reprogramming. PMB boasts various levels of heating that can be programmed to heat the sample in various ways, so you can get the results you’re looking for fast. With a wide LCD display, see the time, temperature and weighing results at the same time. The PMB is the definition of a high-quality affordable moisture analyser.
The Kern DLB Moisture Analyser can perform advanced heating and drying processes with ease. Connect the DLB to a PC or printer to record or display the highly accurate results. The DLB offers an internal memory for automatic sequence of five complete drying processes for ease of use. No need to rush, your latest measurement result will remain on the display until replaced by a new measurement.
Capacities: 51g – 71g
Readabilities: 0.0001g – 0.005g
The A&D M Series Moisture Analyser offers five choices of measurement programs, so you can choose which one is best for your application. Should you find a measurement condition that you find yourself using the most often, you can store it in the M Series memory and recall it later to save time. See all the necessary information you need, such as measurement, action status and setting value on the large VFD display.
If you need help determining which moisture analyser is right for you, contact Inscale at 01908 972 660, and we’ll be happy to help.