Food Science Terms - W

Water absorption: Measurements that indicate how much water can be held in a dough. 

Water activity: aw. Qualitatively, aw is a measure of unbound, free water in a system, available to support biological and chemical reactions. Water activity affects microorganisms survival and reproduction, enzymes, and chemical reactions. The water activity of a substance is quantitatively equal to the vapor pressure of the substance divided by the vapor pressure of pure water (both measured at the same temperature). Measurements range from 0.00 (dry) to 1.00 (pure water). 

Water phase salt: Measure of percent salt based on an analysis of the water phase of the tissue of a product, as opposed to the percent salt based on an analysis of the surface of a product. Used primarily in the fish industry. 

Water-soluble vitamins: Nutrients that dissolve in water. These include vitamin C and the B vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins can easily be lost in cooking if they are allowed to leach into the cooking water, which is then discarded. This problem can be avoided by serving foods raw, cooking foods in as little water as possible, or including the cooking water in the finished dish (e.g., in a soup or stew). 

Waveform/Waveshape: Type of electric or pressure pulses generated by the high voltage pulser. 

Waveguide: Physical component of a microwave system that guides the microwaves from magnetron to the cavity where the food is heated. When applied in the form of pulses, it reverses the charge for each pulse and pulse intensity gradually decreases. 

Wheat: important cereal crop, ground into flour to produce bread and pasta

White chocolate: To be legally called 'chocolate' a product must contain cocoa solids. White chocolate does not contain these solids, which leaves it a smooth ivory or beige color. Real white chocolate is primarily cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla. 

Whole egg: Consist of yolk (yellow portion) and albumen (white or clear portion). For the various types of egg products - liquid, frozen, and dried - the yolks and albumen are separated during the breaking. 

Whole grain: The whole kernel of grain which includes the bran (outer shell), germ (nutrient rich core) and endosperm (starchy portion). The health benefit provided by whole grains is the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease which results from the combination of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals found in whole grains. 

Winterizing: process involving the slow cooling of oils to help them remain liquid at room temperature such as salad oils

Workstation: Area and equipment used to do similar work (i.e. vegetable preparation) or a specific set of tasks (i.e. assembly of sandwiches). 

Wort (Pronounced wert): Sweet, concentrated sugar solution produced by boiling hops and malt. Basically, unfermented beer 



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