I'm working on a mushroom based jerky recipe and there are a couple questions about water activity that I am having trouble finding answers to.

What salt and sugar content should I be aiming for to maximize moisture (avoiding a rock hard mushroom cracker) and stay under the .85 water activity level?

My understanding is that salt and sugar both lower water activity but I have not been able to pin down a specific formula or method of determining how much of either is sufficient outside of sending it off to a lab. Thanks in advance.

  • Even if you have a formula, you'll have to send it to a lab afterwards, unless you give it so much margin that you end up with that rock hard result. Food preservation is a rather complex problem, and recipes need empirical verification. Formulas are useful, but their role is to reduce the number of attempts you need until you get something that tests right, not to replace the need for testing.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 11:00
  • @rumtscho yes that's what I'm aiming for here. How can I dial this in to avoid paying the $100 lab fee for each submission. Is there not an ideal material formula that at least serves as a guideline? Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 17:08
  • I hope there is one, I don't know it though. I hope someone else will be able to write a good answer.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 19:25


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