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How to measure the pH of food items using the Horiba PH22 pH Meter


The pH of food is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the food is. The pH of a food sample can have serious ramifications for food safety as foods with a pH above 4.6-5.2 have a much higher risk of microbial growth.

As such, pH measurements can be used to determine type of processing required to ensure that the food will be safe to consume
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Measuring salami
For salami, it is generally recommended to get the Salami down to a pH of approximately 5.2 at which point (along with drying) the salami should be stable and safe.

To quickly check the pH of salami with the PH22 you can cut a small slice of salami and put it onto the sensor. In most cases this will give a suitable reading. If not, it may be necessary to add a bit of distilled water, to help the pH meter take a reading.

If you are looking to take a measurement as per ANZFS Code then you can mince a representative sample of the sausage in a stoppered bottle with twice its weight of water and then shake. A small sample of the liquid can then be placed onto the flat electrode of the PH22 and a measurement can be taken.

Measuring sushi rice
For sushi, the rice used must have a pH of less than 4.6. Below this pH, a majority of the pathogenic and toxin producing bacteria do not multiply rapidly which greatly improves safely.

Vinegar is used to decrease the pH of the rice to a suitable level and often there is enough moisture present that a sample of rice can be placed on the flat sensors of the PH22. If the pH is too high, extra vinegar can be added to the rice until a suitable level is reached.

Measuring liquids and semi-solids like sauce and yoghurt
For liquids and semi-solids like sauces and yoghurts, taking a measurement with the PH22 is easy. Simply place a small sample on the flat sensor and take a reading.

Like sushi rice, you should aim for a pH of 4.6 or lower to minimise the risk of Clostridium botulinum growth. 
  

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