The importance of using a Novasina Aw-Meter in detecting Listeria in ready-to-use food products

Ensuring food safety in ready-to-use food products is crucial, especially in combating pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. One of the essential tools in this process is the Novasina Aw-meter, which measures the water activity (Aw) of products.

Water activity is a determining factor for the growth of microorganisms. Products with a low Aw value (≤ 0.92) provide a less favorable environment for the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Using a Novasina Aw-meter helps food producers accurately determine if their products fall within safe limits.

According to FAVV guidelines, ready-to-eat foods are automatically subject to less stricter control measures if the Aw is ≤ 0.92 ( among other criteria). This means that products with these properties need less frequent testing for Listeria monocytogenes, as the low water activity inhibits the growth of this bacteria​​​​.

Regularly measuring and monitoring the aw value with a Novasina Aw-meter offers multiple benefits:

  • Preventing Listeria outbreaks: Ensuring that water activity remains within safe limits effectively limits the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.
  • Regulatory compliance: Food producers can demonstrate that their products meet the microbiological criteria set out in Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005, which is essential for compliance and obtaining market approval​​.
  • Extending shelf life: Products with controlled Aw values generally have a longer shelf life without quality degradation, providing economic benefits for producers.

Using a Novasina Aw-meter is not only a scientific and regulatory necessity but also a practical approach to ensuring food safety and maximizing economic benefits in the food industry.