All living things require nourishment, and people get most of the energy needed to sustain life from food consumption. For many, food security is a constant problem, and obtaining food is a daily struggle. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 868 million people in the world are malnourished, which has been linked to an increased risks in illness, underdevelopment of bone and tissue, and poor mental health. In recent research Cook et. al. concluded that even people with marginal food security were at an increased risk than previously thought for adverse health and development outcomes. This problem is further complicated by the geographic location of the people most effected by starvation compared to the location of the food surpluses that exist worldwide. Oftentimes a high percentage of the food being delivered to the people in need spoils because of the long spans of time it takes to reach those with shortages. Long term efforts are being made, moving food sources closer to impoverished people, but short term remediation is also required to get the people food supplies that are both plentiful and storable.
Food manufacturers are playing a vital role in fighting food insecurity by adapting their current manufacturing practices to incorporate longer shelf life demands while maintaining high quality products that consumers enjoy. This includes more stringent protocols for making goods, as well as an increase in quality checks for the final products. One of the key components that requires control is water. If products have too much moisture then there is an increased risk for molding and spoilage. If too little water is present then the product may be brittle and have an unsuitable taste. But how is moisture content reliably determined?