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Keeping It Fresh: How Data Loggers Track and Record Food’s pH Levels and Moisture Content

The 3\CTEMP-RH Bluetooth Temperature and Humidity Single Use data logger.
pH imbalances endanger food during production, storage, and transportation. Measuring pH determines safe and toxic food. Here’s how data loggers can track and record food’s pH levels and moisture content.

Key Takeaways:

  • pH is the balance between hydrogen and hydroxyl ions. pH values affect many aspects of food, including color, taste, and shelf life.
  • pH imbalances can encourage microbes’ growth, leading to food spoilage.
  • Monitoring temperature and humidity can help you regulate pH.

Many harmful microbes thrive in specific pH ranges. For instance, alkaline foods with high pH levels, like meat and dairy products, are usually vulnerable to microbes like bacteria. This makes them more susceptible to spoilage. 

On the other hand, acidic foods like vegetables and citrus fruits inhibit the growth of most microorganisms, making them less likely to spoil. Therefore, keeping track of food’s pH can be a determining factor in increasing or decreasing shelf life. 

Regulating the pH of food can also increase its palatability and consumption. Keep reading to learn how data loggers can be used to track and record food’s pH levels and moisture content.

What is pH?

Before learning how to measure pH, it’s vital to understand what it is. Simply put, every substance has a measurable level of alkalinity or acidity. These levels are determined by the number of hydrogen (H) or hydroxyl (OH) ions.

The ratio between these two figures determines whether the substance is acidic or alkaline. A solution with more hydroxyl ions is alkaline, while one with more hydrogen ions is acidic.

How does pH affect food?

pH affects food in every stage before and after production. Let’s look at some food features and processes that pH levels affect.


During production, it’s crucial to test the pH of ingredients to predict how they’ll react and how long they’ll take. For example, during bread production or the aging of wine, the alkalinity or acidity of the ingredients greatly influences how fast you’ll get the final product.

-Color and texture

Color and texture are essential aspects of the presentation and palatability of food. pH affects many pigments, such as carotenoids, chloropHyll, and anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of fruit, vegetables, and meat. Therefore, keeping the food at optimal pH ensures it retains its color and texture.


The citric fruit has a distinct sour flavor. This is a result of their highly acidic pH. Most foods’ tastes change drastically depending on pH levels. Acidic foods might lose their distinct tastes as the pH levels reduce. Monitoring the pH to maintain the preferred taste is vital.

How does pH affect food safety?

Most regulatory bodies impose a specific pH value for food safety. For instance, the FDA requires the pH of milk to be around 6.8 at the collection point, where it is tested for impurities.  

Over time, some foods, especially vegetables and dairy products, lose their natural acidity. Eventually, they lose their pH balance, and microorganisms can multiply. However, manufacturers can alter the shelf life of these foods by interfering with the pH levels.

For example, milk used to produce cheese must be of exceptional quality, and its pH determines whether the cheese will be hard or soft. 

pH alteration is also used in the food canning industry. This is because microorganisms like yeast, bacteria, and molds are sensitive to a food’s pH. Very high or low pH levels can prevent microbial growth.

Besides pH, water activity is also a critical factor that affects microbial growth. Water activity and pH work in synergy to stop the growth of spoilage microorganisms. 

How to use data loggers to track and record food’s pH levels and moisture

After production, it’s impossible to track the food’s pH levels directly. Two critical factors affect the pH of any substance: temperature and humidity.

Temperature plays a crucial role in pH measurements. As temperature rises, molecular vibrations increase, increasing water’s ability to ionize and form hydroxyl ions. Similarly, an increase in moisture content is associated with increased pH

The best way to track your food’s pH levels is by constantly measuring the temperature and humidity in its storage location. For instance, if the food is in transit, you can use our CoolBoxus Validated Shipping Boxes, to guarantee minimal temperature or humidity changes in the process.

Portable data logger like the Micro2 Temperature Data Logger record any temperature changes and calculate any potential pH changes. Alternatively, you can use a general-purpose temperature and humidity data logger to keep track of the environmental moisture (humidity) and temperature levels. This will help you avoid or minimize pH-associated risks.

Which data logger is best for keeping track of food moisture levels?

We know keeping track of moisture levels is essential for regulating pH levels and keeping food safe. So, which are the best data loggers for this purpose?


The 2C\Temp-RH data logger is a cost-effective device for both food temperature monitoring and humidity tracking during transit. It is highly accurate, has high memory, and has a wide range of digital features.

-3\CTEMP-RH Bluetooth Temperature and Humidity Single-Use

The 3\CTEMP-RH Bluetooth Temperature and Humidity Single Use data logger is a pre-programmed small form factor device ideal for usage when transporting perishable goods like fruit and vegetables. The data logger is computer-ready with various digital features like USB and Bluetooth support.

Ensure food safety and quality with Marathon Products

pH and humidity are critical for food safety, and data loggers are extremely helpful in food temperature and moisture monitoring to ensure these levels stay where they should be. 

But it’s also key to partner with a reliable provider to get high-quality and reliable data loggers to track food pH levels and moisture content. Marathon Products is the perfect partner for your food safety needs.

We are a leading provider of temperature environmental sensors for various industries, including the food sector. Our products are approved by all regulatory bodies and used by many other corporations, including Fortune 500 companies.

Talk to us today to learn how you can use our data loggers to monitor food pH levels and mitigate losses.

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