Aquaphotomics makes the first official step in water activity research

C.Malegori, J. Muncan, E.Mustorgi, R.Tsenkova, P. Oliveri, Analysing the water spectral pattern by near-infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics as a dynamic multidimensional biomarker in preservation: rice germ storage monitoring, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, Volume 265, 2022, 120396

It is our special pleasure to announce the publication of a new research paper by Aquaphotomics Research Department. The article written in collaboration with our Italian colleagues, titled “Analyzing the Water Spectral Pattern by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and Chemometrics as a Dynamic Multidimensional Biomarker in Preservation: Rice Germ Storage Monitoring“, has been published in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy on 14th September.

The words “special pleasure” are insufficient to describe how we actually feel seeing this work published after two and more years of immense work. Precisely year ago, the last week of September we were in the midst of the series of experiments, with the laboratory cramped with all kinds of food, working from dawn to dusk, measuring water activity and the near infrared spectra. All that, just to be able to confirm that what we saw in the spectral data of rice germ during storage is a part of a universal phenomenon.

The results published in this paper are a first step in the series of articles that will follow which tackle this mystery of water activity and what it means to be alive, to be preserved, what exactly is deterioration and why things fall apart. And yes, of course, the answer is in the water. Not the quantity, but the molecular structure.

The Rice germ monitoring study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the state of water as a function of time and the initial water activity during storage. Using non-destructive, near infrared spectroscopy, advanced methods of data analysis (chemometrics) and a novel, aquaphotomics findings about the water structure-functionality relationship, we were able to describe the changes during storage only through the analysis of modifications in water molecular structure presented as spectral pattern of rice germ.

Our special gratitude goes to the leading authors Cristina Malegori, Paolo Oliveri and Eleonora Mustorgi who performed the experiments, masterfully executed chemometrics analysis and were kind to share their data and findings with us in order to pursue this research story. It contributed to our personal (especially in the patience section) and aquaphotomics growth immensely.

We hope this article will inspire similar experimental and data analysis studies of food and other products that will clarify the role of water in biological structures and their preservation, resulting in more efficient processing and preservation strategies.  

The article can be found at the links below. Enjoy and share the water activity story!