Enthalpy Relaxation and Food Stability

Roopesh M. Syamaladevi, Shelly J. Schmidt, Gustavo V. Barbosa-Cánovas, Shyam S. Sablani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Food stability is influenced by intrinsic factors such as food composition, pH, and water activity, as well as extrinsic factors such as temperature and relative humidity. Enthalpy relaxation is used to study the storage stability of amorphous foods and pharmaceuticals in the glassy state. This chapter covers recent efforts to correlate enthalpy relaxation time, a measure of molecular mobility in glassy systems, with the rate of physical and chemical changes in foods. Water activity and glass transitions are two important concepts that have been investigated and applied to determine the stability of low-moisture foods. The state of food solids and their state transitions are important, since the glass transition concept elucidates physicochemical changes in foods during nonequilibrium processing and storage environments. Many studies show that calorimetric relaxation times of amorphous glass correlates well with its physical and chemical stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWater Activity in Foods
Subtitle of host publicationFundamentals and Applications
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118765982
ISBN (Print)9781118768310
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Calorimetric relaxation times
  • Enthalpy relaxation
  • Food stability
  • Glass transitions
  • Low-moisture foods
  • Water activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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