Water activity

Our R&D expert explains everything about water activity and why Barry Callebaut developed a unique low water activity fillings range.

Water activity?

Water activity (Aw) plays an important role in safety, quality, texture and sensory properties of the product.

Water activity is an indication of water in food that is free or available for biochemical, enzymatic or microbial activity.

It is more important for food stability, chemical and microbial, than total water content.

Awesome filling Raspberry

In confectionery and bakery applications

For water activity below 0.6, all microbial growth is inhibited. Thus such a low water activity does not require the use of preservatives and offers the advantage of extended shelf life up to 12 months under ambient storage conditions. 

In confectionery applications, water activity below 0.6 prevents crack formation in chocolate pralines and guarantees product stability. On the other hand, water based nature of those fillings prevents fat bloom formation.

Water activity also plays a significant role in bakery and biscuit applications. It prevents the dough/biscuit from getting soft as there is less or no water migration from the filling to the dough/biscuit. At equilibrium, the biscuit is kept crispy and the filling is kept soft. Low water activity fillings, like our aWesome fillings with water activity below 0.5, are compatible with inclusions like cocoa nibs or crispearls, keeping them crunchy inside the filling.

Barry Callebaut's low water activity fillings

In our range of low water activity fillings - aWesome fillings - the desired water activity (below 0.6 for confectionery applications and below 0.5 for bakery applications) is achieved through the incorporation of selected ingredients, specific technology and process conditions. Even though the water activity is so low, the aWesome fillings provide smooth and soft texture and ensure processability on existing industrial equipment.


Discover our range of awesome fillings

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