In chemistry, PH stands for the power of Hydrogen or potential of Hydrogen. It is a scale used to express the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. Uses of a liquid are determined by its acidic or basic nature. Because of this, monitoring or controlling the PH of aqueous solutions has many real-world applications.
In agriculture, the study of soil PH is important because it affects the availability of nutrients, root growth, and fungal growth by controlling the chemical forms of different nutrients and influencing their chemical reactions. Therefore, soil and crop productivity are connected to the PH value of the soil. When soil PH is outside the desired range, it can be altered by adding acidic or alkaline material to the soil.
The PH of water determines the solubility and biological availability of chemical elements such as nutrients like phosphorous and heavy metals like lead. The PH affects the amount and form of phosphorous in water and also determines if aquatic life can use it. The degree at which heavy metal dissolves in water determines their toxicity.
In the food industry, PH measurement is important because it is used to test the quality, control microbial activity, taste, and shelf life of food. For many foods, PH levels must be kept at a narrow range to avoid the degradation of food.
Brewing and Wine Making
Beer processing involves microbial activities that are affected by PH. For instance, mash PH controls the behaviors of several enzymes used in brewing. The PH of wine must be kept at a low level to prevent bacteria from degrading the wine. Wines at low PH tend to mature slowly and are less prone to spoilage. PH of wines also affects its taste hence more acidic wines tend to be dry.