Educator Resources for Virtual Labs: Controlling Water Activity

The concept of water activity is crucial to safe food preservation. Every ancient culture dried food for survival during scarce times. When the water activity in food is less than 0.6, almost all microbes, including bacteria, molds, and yeasts, stop growing. In this virtual laboratory, students test water activity levels of dried corn and explore how different storage environments affect the corn's safety level. The interactive animation guides users through the theory and practice of sampling a food product, using a water activity meter, and setting up replicates, to build familiarity with concepts and procedures used in real food science labs. (Before beginning this lab, it may be useful to complete Virtual Labs – Understanding Water Activity.)
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