In the cheese processing industry, controlling the moisture content in dry good ingredients can impact product quality, formulation, processing, shelf life and even shipping costs.  Therefore, accurate measurement of moisture content is essential throughout the process and even with the final product.

Until recently, however, conducting frequent moisture content tests in the field has been difficult.  In many cases, the primary barrier has been the expertise and time required to conduct such tests.  Often sophisticated moisture measurement devices must be operated by trained personnel that can properly calibrate the equipment.  Many also require meticulous sample preparation.

Fortunately, handheld devices are now available that allow even less-skilled personnel to take lab-quality moisture measurements.  These “point-and-measure” options allow readings to be quickly taken at any stage of the process including at the supplier, in receiving areas, in-process (prior and post-mixing) and on the finished product.

By doing so, cheese processors can ensure a more consistent, high-quality product ultimately reaches the consumer.

The approach involves moisture meters that utilize Near-Infrared (NIR) light, a highly accurate, noncontact secondary measurement method that can deliver immediate laboratory quality moisture readings developed by Kett US, a manufacturer of a full range of moisture and organic composition analyzers.

Unlike complex laboratory equipment, portable NIR equipment is designed for ease of use.  For example, with Kett’s KJT130 Handheld Portable Instant Moisture Meter, the user simply points the instrument at the cheese ingredient and the moisture content is instantly shown on a digital display, with results accurate to .01% in a 0-100% measurement range.

The key to Kett’s innovative analyzers is that they allow companies to cost-effectively be able to conduct as much testing as required, with full confidence in the results, each and every time.

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