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A Survey of Water Activity and pH Values in Fresh Pasta Packed under Modified Atmosphere Manufactured in Argentina and Uruguay

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The water activity (aw) and pH values of commercially available filled fresh pasta and gnocchi packed under modified atmosphere and manufactured in Argentina and Uruguay were examined. The retail survey included 58 samples (several brands) of filled pasta and 11 samples of gnocchi. Fillings consisted of different combinations of cheese (various types), beef, ricotta, ham, chicken, and spinach. The survey revealed that the aw values of the 58 samples of filled pasta ranged from 0.916 to 0.973, and their pH values ranged from 5.2 to 7.0. The aw of gnocchi was consistently higher and ranged from 0.936 to 0.983, with pH values from 4.8 to 6.4. Some samples of filled pasta and most gnocchi samples were found to have aw and pH values that would support growth of spores of Clostridium botulinum, if present, under conditions of temperature abuse (i.e., 30°C).

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Departamento de Industrias, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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