How to Measure the Moisture Content in Food?

When you’re a food producer, it’s essential to maintain your food quality more than its quantity. Only your food quality assures how long and successfully you will sustain in the food industry.

A food must comprise a certain level of moisture to prevent food spoilage and the growth of bacteria. But, the excess level of moisture causes several human health issues. So, after producing food, you’d better check its moisture level with the help of DSCbalances.

DSCbalances is a widespread moisture and fat analyzer that has been serving the solids and fat analysis industry for 20 years. Besides this, lots of popular moisture analyzer machines and services are always there for you.

However, there are some precise and inexpensive methods to analyze your food’s moisture besides the commercial methods.

Let’s try them.

What Is Moisture Content in Food and What is the Purposes of Measuring it?

The moisture content refers to the incorporated amount of water in a particular product. Containing a certain amount of fluid is vital for ensuring food quality, safety, and self-line.

A food manufacturer must maintain the fluid at every stage of food production, from raw material to the final product. Controlling the moisture in food is essential as it’s related to the physical properties of humans.

The purpose of using the moisture content is to hold the product’s characteristics, physical appearance, taste, weight, and shelf-life. And measuring the moisture in every food production sector is essential for avoiding human health harm.

How to Measure the Moisture Content In Food?

Over and under-rated moisture in food is both harmful to human health. You can’t pass through the legal labeling requirement unless your food has a pre-allowed amount of water.

But how will you know your food has that certain moisture content? If you’re a commercial producer, you must maintain a laboratory and measure the moisture content in your food.

Here are the methods to apply for measuring the moisture content in your food sample.


In the distillation method, the food sample is boiled at the high-boiling point mixing with an organic solvent. The moisture measuring process is the easiest and simplest, but sometimes it can cause adverse chemical reactions.

You’ll have to lower the boiling point to avoid the chemical reaction. Indeed at the lower boiling point, the solvent will take time to reach the food content measuring level.

Dielectric Method

In the dielectric method, water’s electric properties are used to measure food’s moisture content. Nevertheless, the method is applicable to measure the moisture level of food; you can’t learn the moisture content of your food through the method.

However, the electric properties of water can’t measure the moisture content in food content more than 35 percent. So, you might’ve to move to another method for the food having an excess amount of moisture.


The Hydrometry method measures the moisture of food content by measuring its specific gravity. Nevertheless, the water measuring process is inapplicable to all sorts of food and beverage.

Certain types of food samples from salt, salt brines, beverages, and sugar solutions give good results in this method.

Infrared Spectroscopy

The infrared spectroscopy method is the process of measuring the absorption of radiation in food by molecules.

The radiation reflects and absorbs the energy from food and indicates the amount of water in it.


If you want to determine the sugar concentration in your food sample, apply the refractometry method. It allows for the separation of the sugar concentration by measuring the sample’s refractive index.

However, the method provides the accurate result for pure sucrose solutions only, not for other things.

Chemical Analysis

The food having low moisture content is difficult to measure with the regular moisture measuring method. The chemical reaction damages the product and its real texture.

The chemical analysis process is super-fast and accurate and avoids using heat. Using the chemical is the only drawback of the process that causes the unpleasant odor.

Oven Drying Methods

The oven-drying method determines the moisture of your food sample by measuring its weight. The process is one of the water-measuring ways that might take 1 to 18 hours.

The method is applied both before and after drying the food, bringing out the moisture percentage.

Moisture analyzer

The commercial moisture analyzer provides precise and reliable results quickly for any substance. The moisture analyzer calculates the water amount of food within a reasonable time using infrared or halogen.

The Sum up!

Examining the moisture content in food before packaging is important for ensuring its quality. Providing quality food is the key to the long-run success of a business.

But how to measure the moisture content in food? Undoubtedly, using the commercial moisture analyzer is the best method to get an accurate result. Besides, you can use a professional moisture analyzer to measure your food content.

However, the inexpensive methods from our article will also allow measuring the moisture from your food sample.