Moisture sorption isotherm
At equilibrium, the relationship between water content and equilibrium humidity of a material can be displayed graphically by a curve, the so-called moisture sorption isotherm. For each humidity value, a sorption isotherm indicates the corresponding water content value at a given, constant temperature. If the composition or quality of the material changes, then its sorption behaviour also changes. Because of the complexity of sorption processes, the isotherms cannot be determined by calculation, but must be recorded experimentally for each product.
The relationship between water content and water activity (aw) is complex. An increase in aw is usually accompanied by an increase in water content, but in a non-linear fashion. This relationship between water activity and moisture content at a given temperature is called the moisture sorption isotherm. These curves are determined experimentally and constitute the fingerprint of a food system.
- Bell, L.N., and Labuza, T.P. 2000. "Practical Aspects of Moisture Sorption Isotherm Measurement and Use". 2nd Edition AACC Eagan Press, Eagan, MN