Experiment No.

6 Moisture Sorption Isotherm Queenie Gene Gadong Date Performed: February 22, 2012 Date Submitted: March 17, 2012 I. Introduction

Water in a food substrate is composed of two classifications, the free water and the bound water. Free water is that moisture that can be easily removed through evaporation from the food surface. There is also the bound water for which forced removal of water would be hard and could lower the quality of the product since the water is chemically bound to the food matrix. Many preservation processes attempt to delay spoilage of the food material by reducing the availability of water to microorganisms and undesirable chemical changes. (John M. deMan, 1999) Removal of all the free water after a period of time would result in a constant amount of water left in the food. This definite moisture content of the food product is known as the Equilibrium Moisture content (Xe). The equilibrium word in itself indicates that the moisture removed is the maximum amount of water that can be absorbed by the drying medium, in this case the air at a given temperature and humidity, at which point there is no more exchange of moisture from the material to the air. (Geankoplis, 1995) It can also be argued that the equilibrium moisture content of the food material is the maximum amount of free water which can be removed from the food material. (Earle, 1983) Water activity, Aw on the other hand, is the representation of the amount of water present in a substrate, which may be able to support microbial growth. “The term “water activity” (aw) was developed to account for the intensity with which water associates with various nonaqueous constituents”. (Fennema, 1996) This relationship between water activity and association with solid constituents is based on the fact that already bound water is less likely to engage in degradative activities. Biologically active organisms, which spoil organic substrates, are unable to live and proliferate in a water free environment. (Reynolds, 1998) Water activity can determine the shelf-life of a food commodity since spoilage and even pathogenic microorganisms are unable to proliferate in water activity just below 0.91. Fungi can only survive until 0.80, below this fungal growth is stunted and further removal of moisture to 0.6 would halt other microbial activity. Also the enzymes are unable to promote undesirable changes in the food, which renders a longer shelf-life. Aside from this, water activity also influences the vitamin activity and it could even affect the sensory attributes of the food such as the color, taste and aroma. (Andrade, 2011) Moisture Sorption Isotherm (MSI) is graphical representation of the relationship between the equilibrium moisture content of the food and its corresponding water activity. Water activity can be considered as the ratio of water vapor pressure, (the waters tendency to leave the solution) in the food system and the pure water vapor pressure at a constant value of pressure and temperature. (Fennema, 1996) (1)


Figure 1: Adsorption and Desorption Isotherms Source: (Fennema. desorption (starting from the wet state). or working (native state). It can also predict the affinity of the food material for deteriorative mechanisms such as browning and lipid oxidation. Thus it could also predict the shelf-life. Moisture Sorption Isotherm can also be used in food engineering since it could help in determining drying equipment to ensure process utilization. swelling of polymeric materials. There are some types of food however. An isotherm prepared by adsorption will not necessarily be the same as an isotherm prepared by desorption. and is exhibited by many foods. Some reasons for the hysteresis are: differences in the filling and emptying of pores and capillaries. Aw is water activity. 2011) Moisture Sorption Isotherm is used in food technology in determining the tendency of a food material for microbial growth and enzymatic action. (Andrade. storage stability. A relationship between the water activity and the relative humidity is represented by equation 2 as (2) where. which means that equilibrium has been reached. (Decagon Devices. that have a J-type isotherm curve shape. 1999) There are three types of isotherm curves. a relationship which shows that an increase in moisture content is accompanied by an increase in water activity in a non-linear way. (John M. P is the water vapor pressure and Po is the saturated vapor pressure. This phenomenon of different moisture contents for the same aw is called moisture sorption hysteresis. deMan. transition between glassy and rubbery state and super saturation of some solutes during desorption Moisture Sorption Isotherm curves are thought of as the “fingerprint of a food system” and can only be determined experimentally. Thus. 1996) Moisture sorption isotherms are sigmoidal in shape for most foods.Another possible definition for moisture sorption isotherm is the plot of moisture content against the relative humidity of the air of which the food is at equilibrium in terms of temperature and pressure. and food quality. constituting a form of measurement of the water amount available in food. foods that contain large amounts of sugar or small soluble molecules. The moisture sorption isotherm of a food is obtained from the equilibrium moisture contents determined at several water activity levels at constant temperature. (Fennema. 2004). adsorption (starting from the dry state). the water activity of food is equal to the relative humidity of the air around it divided by 100. 1996) 2 .

8 0. The temperature in each separate dessicators on the other hand was done daily. dry basis(kg/kg) 0. Potassium Carbonate.a: Summary of calculated results of Moisture Sorption Isotherm for raisins.756 0.1749 0. Magnesium Chloride.014 -0. The solutions were deemed saturated when the solution was unable to dissolve anymore the salt crystal added to it.2319 0. Eight (8) saturated salt solutions were prepared by dissolving the crystals in separate petri dishes with 2mm liquid layer. Ammonium Sulfate.435 0.435 0.8684 0.118 3 .1576 -0.22 0. Sodium Nitrate.328 0. Potassium Acetate and Lithium Chloride. dry basis(kg/kg) 0. b: Summary of calculated results for Moisture Sorption Isotherm for raisins. Sodium Chloride. These salt solutions were Potassium Nitrate.328 0.22 0.1777 0. sample 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Salt potassium nitrate Ammonium sulfate Sodium chloride Sodium Nitrite Potassium carbonate potassium acetate magnesium chloride lithium chloride X. where in the samples during the course of the experiment will be placed. replicate two.0239 0. Results Table 1.633 0.907 0. replicate one.8 0.907 0.756 0.4341 0. A sample was then placed in a separate dessicator hanging on top of a saturated solution and stored for 1 week or until equilibrium was reached. The initial weight of the samples were determined same with its initial moisture content using the IR moisture analyzer. Sample 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Salt potassium nitrate Ammonium sulfate Sodium chloride Sodium Nitrite Potassium carbonate potassium acetate magnesium chloride lithium chloride X. The weighing of samples after 7 days for a single reading was then performed at a recorded room temperature.0226 -0. II. III.4893 -1.8094 0. Methodology Preparation The sample used for this experiment is raisins.2384 Aw values at 30°C 0.5399 -0.118 Table 1.The objective of this laboratory exercise is to construct a Moisture Sorption Isotherm from the obtained raw data for the raisin sample.0256 Aw values at 30°C 0.4795 0.633 0. This experiment would teach the students to identify the water activity range for which moisture desorption and absorption occur and be able to differentiate between the two.0983 0. Prior to the start of the laboratory period the group prepared 8 wire screen baskets.

0.4 Aw 0.2 0. From the graph.8 0. The isotherm can be described as an adsorption isotherm curve. dry basis (kg/kg) MSI 2 To be able to obtain a sigmoidal shaped curve data points that greatly deviate were discarded.6 0. Discussion Ignoring the negative data points.3 0. in which the sample starts from a dried state then to an increasing weight because of adsorption of moisture.b: Moisture Sorption Isotherm Plot for raisins. 1 0.2 0.2 0. replicate two.8 1 X. replicate one. it is interpreted that there is adsorption of moisture of the dried food sample from the saturated salt solutions.Figure 1.2 0. the plot for the moisture sorption isotherm of the sample raisins shows an increasing trend in the graph.8 1 MSI 1 Figure 1.5 0. The moisture content of the samples increased significantly when the dried samples were exposed from different saturated salt solutions.a: Moisture Sorption Isotherm Plot for raisins.3 0. particularly the negative moisture content.4 X.6 0.1 0.9 0.4 Aw 0. IV. We can also see from the results that salt solutions containing higher water activity greatly increases the moisture content of the samples compared to those saturated salts having lower water activity.7 0.1 0 0 -0.5 0.1 0 0 0. dry basis (kg/kg) 0.6 0.4 0. 4 .

2004. 325-334). accessed date: 03/14/12 Andrade. New York 10016: Marcel Dekker. Water and Ice. (1999). VI.26 3. Geankoplis. DeMan. Models of Sorption Isotherms for Food: Uses and Limitations. Available from: http://www.99 3. Fennema. With the use of the MSI. New York. c. 270 Madison Avenue. p. R. Gaithersburg. a person could see the response of the sample under different humidity conditions.946666667 5 .pdf. Revista de la Facultad de Química Farmacéutica (pp. This means that the product absorbs moisture from its surrounding. . Food Chemistry 3rd ed. Conclusion At the end of the experiment. Medellín. “moisture sorption isotherm method”. J.      References Decagon devices.59 2. Inc. In o. Fennema.V. Colombia: Universidad de Antioquia. Maryland: Aspen Publishers. Principles of Food Chemistry 3rd ed. (p.For the group sample which is raisins. (1996). the isotherm shows an increasing trend in the process. therefore increasing its initial weight. and term is referred to as adsorption. (2011).decagon. Moisture sorption isotherm shows that Aw is directly proportional to the moisture content. Inc. VII.com/pdfs/app_notes/moisturesorptionisothermmethod. the group concluded that moisture sorption isotherm is a good way of showing the relationship between water content and equilibrium humidity of the material. In Vitae. Annex Table 2: Initial Moisture Content of sample using IR analyzer. 1051). R. . Moisture Content 5. John m. L. Transport Processes and Unit Operations 3rd ed. r. Trial 1 2 3 ave. University of Minnesota: Prentice-hall International. Inc. but in a nonlinear trend. (1995). O.

02391 0.4253 1.9086 1.49 1.231941 0.b:Summary of raw and calculated data for MSI replicate two.9047 3.7449 1.8616 1. dry basis (kg/kg) 0.5948 2.9282 2.Table 3.0570661 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 KNO3 (NH4)2SO4 NaCl NaNO3 K2CO3 KC2H3O2 MgCl2 LiCl 0.0689 4.0261 3. before storage 2.9744 3.118 6 .8 0.907 0.539 5.02566 Table 3.3 43.3201 1.022562 -0.5645 W2 2.4304 3.3404 2.174681 0. before storage 3.0979 1.0601698 -0.5109 1.43 1.5022 1.6025 2.5732 1. after storage (g) 3.3695 2.0289 4.5681 3.8952 3. after storage (g) 4.0658 1.3151 W1 1.4762 1.7696 1.2265 3.11836875 0.2499 2.433 1.9362 2.6451 1.8 Aw values at 30°C 0.7 80 75.328 0.0457443 0.1 1.435 0. basket (g) 2.6782 3.7049 1. Sample Salt wt.6578 5.1168 1.3515 3.9269 4.7626 1.8509 wt.5861 1.7976 2.0087 0. dry basis (kg/kg) 0.2636 3.324 2.8906 1.9435 2.4341 0.7599 2.4154 wt.633 0.5724 W1 W2 X.1116 2.22 0.6 63. Sample 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Salt KNO3 (NH4)2SO4 NaCl NaNO3 K2CO3 KC2H3O2 MgCl2 LiCl wt.9678 3.098354 0.8457 4.0138659 -0.4513 1. basket (g) wt.8562 1.9789 3.4802 3.7935 1.8 11.6068 3.512 1.014048 -0.42284535 -0.201 3.7567 3.5 22 32.3802 1.4075 1.7379 0.4642 X.408 1.6438 1.8553 2.18425992 -0.a:Summary of raw and calculated data for MSI replicate one.756 0.7512 1.5574 1.5521 4.5245 1.6818 Table 4: %RH of salts at 30°C Salt KNO3 (NH4)2SO4 NaCl NaNO3 K2CO3 KC2H3O2 MgCl2 LiCl %RH at 30°C 90.8405 4.6882 wt.07231382 0.

dry basis (kg water/kg solid) ( ( ( ( ) ( ) ( ) ) ( ) ) ) Determination of Aw. water activity value: Aw = 0.Sample Calculations: Determination of Moisture Content: X.907 7 .

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