I work for a large bakery and we occasionally develop products and are unsure if they are safe at ambient temperatures and require refrigeration.
An example would be cream cheese frosting used on carrot cake, or chocolate brownie that is cooked for a short period and is very soft. It is my understanding that water activity and PH values could be used to detmine the products safety at ambient temp, do members agree with this?
If so do people have any reccomendations on suitable equipment to measure these values?
Thanks in advance
Thks yr query and Welcome to the Forum !
Yr understanding is partially correct but IMO safety may also be (generically) related to the micro.status of the ingredients / precise process-cooking conditions / intended shelf life, etc.
(The parameters you mention are related to micro. growth potential, they do not preclude contamination surviving the baking process or being subsequently added)( afaik bakers are fond of assuming that achievance of a safe (baked) product is confirmable by visual acceptability ).
IMO it is likely that there will be local regulatory rules regarding storage/shelf life in place if an RTE product.
Not my product area but info. as to yr specific request will probably be forthcoming.