Integrated characterization of food quality and microbiological safety

Project Details


The microbiological stability and safety of foods have traditionally been evaluated by measurement of the water activity. Water activity is defined as the relative vapor pressure of the food. However, this definition has several restrictions. Most importantly, it reflects only the surface properties and not the mobility of water taking place in the interior of structured foods, such as meat and cheese.

The dymanics of water molecules can be studied by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) which is a molecular spectroscopic method. NMR offers a noninvasive determination of the dymanic properties of water in heterogeneous systems and can be used to characterize water mobility in complex materials such as foods.

The aim of this project is to challenge the concept of water activity as the main indicator of food stability and safety. We want to develop NMR-based methods for simultanious prediction of food quality and safety.
Effective start/end date01/01/200831/12/2011

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