PH meter is an important tool for food processors

Some food processors will need to check pH when making certain food products.

Meters that measure pH level are used to insure that food products have an adequate acidity level that will prevent growth of foodborne pathogens. Because acidity may be the only means to prevent growth of foodborne pathogens, proper use of the pH meter is a critical factor in establishing and maintaining safe food products. Michigan State University Extension and the MSU Product Center recommend a few steps to follow to ensure that the pH meter is effective in measuring the pH of food products.

  • Calibration should be done frequently and calibration results should be recorded.
  • Calibration should be done with known buffers at both 4.0 and 7.0 pH
  • For food producers the pH meter should be accurate +/- 0.01-0.02 pH units
  • Distilled water should be used to rinse pH meter electrodes
  • Food should be in liquid form or in puree form for measurement. Distilled water can be used to increase moisture level without changing pH.

Proper use of a pH meter is important for food processors. The operators manual will guide you through the steps to use, clean, maintain and store your meter. For further information on the selection and use of pH meters, see Utah State University Cooperative Extension Bulletin FN/Food Safety/2008-1.

MSU Extension Educators and Innovation Counselors at the MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio are ready to assist food processors in the development of the products. The MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio provides food safety testing and assistance to help Michigan entrepreneurs develop and commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive products and businesses in the value-added agriculture, food, and natural resources sectors. For more information, visit or call 517-432-8750.

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