Measuring pH of food products is important in terms of food quality and safety. A change in pH levels can lead to losses in the food industry. Well, I will explain the importance of pH measuring and the pH Meter in the food industry later. Let’s begin with finding answers to what it is meant by pH. Going with a universal definition is better, I think. This is how the Wikipedia explains pH, “In chemistry, pH (potential of hydrogen) is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution.” I know you learned it in school. But in school-days, we tested the pH levels of chemicals with the litmus paper test. The litmus paper test is good for educational purposes. But in the food industry, measuring pH with litmus paper is not practical. Advanced pH Meters can give us accurate pH readings that we can rely on in the food industry.
pH of food explained: Every food in this world has its own pH value. For example, in cheese manufacturing; the professionals have set up ideal pH levels for cheese, and if the pH levels drop or raise than the accepted range; the quality of cheese will go down. Also, at certain pH levels; bacteria and fungus start to grow easily. Also, the pH value has impacts on the consistency of cheese. The consistency of cheese can be changed by decreasing/increasing pH value by a decimal value. It suggests that measuring pH levels accurately to the decimal points is essential in the food industry. So, can you rely on the litmus paper test? The same story goes for the cleaning industry as well. Using wrong chemicals for cleaning surfaces can damage the surfaces. So, the professionals in the cleaning keep a pH Meter with them for accurate pH measurements.
Food Safety and Regulation: As mentioned, pH value of foods prevents or allows bacteria to grow on them. Have you heard about acidic foods? When the pH value of food is below 4.6, we call them acidic food. When it comes to acidic food, 4.6 is the maximum allowed safe limit. Anything above 4.6 will create an environment for bacteria growth. You know what would happen when you consume contaminated food. Don’t you?
How to measure pH in the food industry safely and accurately. Depending on the country you live, you can find different established practices for safe pH measurement of food. Anyway, in every part of the globe; the priority is given for safety when measuring pH of foods. Food and safety regulations highlight the importance of using a pH Meter for accurate pH measurement of food. Also, you should have the right electrode for the purpose.
Let’s get to the pH Meter a bit better. You can buy this device for $10 on eBay. Anyway, in the food industry; expensive meters are being used for highly accurate readings. A general pH meter is a device that looks similar to a thermometer. Expensive and complicated meters give more accurate readings than the cheap ones. Food manufacturers take pH measurements seriously for extra safety. So, they prefer to buy highly accurate and expensive devices that they can rely on. Proper maintenance of the meter is essential for accurate readings and long life.