Why Do You Need a pH Meter In Food Industry?
If you have ever wondered the use of pH Meter, I can say; it’s a very useful device, not just for measuring soil pH levels, but in the food industry as well. We measure many other variables during the food production process for high-quality products. pH levels is also a critical factor to monitor throughout the food making process to get it right. While we can measure pH levels with a litmus paper, we don’t use it in the food industry often. So, a pH Meter is the best option here. This device is widely used in the production of yogurt, jelly, cheese, wine and much more. pH levels affect not only the look, but the taste, texture, and quality of foods. Also, maintaining proper pH levels has now become a food and safety concern.
OK, if you are making food for the family, you probably don’t worry about these factors much. But for the large-scale manufacturers, getting the right pH levels is a crucial factor. Which is why every large-scale food manufacturers have a pH Meter.
Why is pH so important in the food industry?:
Let’s talk about canned/preserved food industry. In canned/preserved food production, maintaining correct pH levels is important to prevent deadly bacteria growth such as botulism. So, you can’t rely on blind pH readings. And which is why we can’t use litmus papers for the food industry. Even though it gives us reliable measurements, a pH Meter is not expensive compared to the service it does for us. The meter you are using should give you readings with an error margin less than 0.1 pH.
Why is accuracy so critical?:
As mentioned earlier, the pH Meter you are using should give you accurate readings with an error margin of >0.1 to 0.001. At pH ranges below 4.6, the bacteria can’t multiply in canned or preserved foods. So, if the meter you use has an error margin of 0.1, it would measure 4.6 as either 4.5 or 4.7. But at 4.7, the bacteria can multiply in foods. So, pH Meter becomes very useful during the quality testing process. A pH reading higher than 4.6 at any stage of food production would make it unsuitable for human consumption. So, reprocessing that food portion is a must according to food and safety regulations.
Choosing the electrodes for pH Meter:
Using a meter with a minimum error margin of 0.1 is a must. Once you have chosen your pH Meter, you must choose the right electrodes to use on it. No matter the type of electrodes you have (Sealed or disposable electrodes,) maintaining and storing them in safe conditions is important.
The importance of meter calibration:
Calibrate the meter daily or according to manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it’s doing the job right. Depending on the type of meter, the calibration methods varies. A buffer solution of pH 7 is used most of the time for calibration. Make sure to thoroughly clean the pH Meter before use on any food for testing pH levels.
A pH Meter is a very useful device to make sure you are producing quality foods. Same as maintaining the right temperature, maintaining proper pH levels is also important in food manufacturing process. The accuracy of readings is the key here, so you can’t rely on the reading you get from other pH testing methods like the litmus paper. You need a device that is more reliable and accurate such as the pH Meter.