The Important Role of the Inline Refractometer in Juice and Beverage Production

Inline Refractometer in Beverage Production
Every time a consumer purchases a beverage that they enjoy drinking again and again, it is because they love the taste of their favorite drink.  Why do they love it?  Because they have grown to trust that the taste they expect is always the same!  They continue to purchase their favorite drink because it is dependable, reliable, and delicious for them every time!

The consumer gets this feeling because of the consistency of product. The consistency is a function of production processes on the part of the manufacturer. Many drinks and beverages have a certain amount of sugar added for optimal taste.  If the process used to mix the sweetener into the drink deviates, even in the slightest, then product consistency will suffer and so will consumer satisfaction.

Enter the process refractometer.  With its precisely calibrated refractive index set to the exact parameters specified by the manufacturer, the quality and consistency of each and every product batch will fall within the acceptable quality control range.  Any deviation from the "sweetness" settings (degrees Brix) are immediately detected by the inline refractometer, and can be quickly corrected by automated signals sent to a final control element and eliminate the deviation. This ensures a quality product for consumers time in and time out, as well as keeping costly losses due to defective batches at a minimum.

Another area in beverage production where inline refractometers are used is in the container and piping sanitization processes. Each producer must keep their process components cleaned and sanitized to industry and government standards. The beverage manufacturer needs to ensure container cleanliness prior to filling, and also guarantee proper flushing of the process piping during product changeover. The cleaning process is regularly done with some aggressive chemicals, namely hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide.  Inline refractometers are used to ensure the precise concentration of theses two cleaning agents. By using the specific refractive index of each chemical, a process refractometer can control the optimal amount for the cleansing processes, again ensuring quality and consistency on the part of the manufacturer, while offering peace of mind that the process components are cleaned and sanitized to exact industry and government standards.

Process refractometers proved an extremely important role in the production of juices and beverages in both the product consistency, and also the safety and cleanliness of the production process.

For more information, contact Electron Machine Corporation by calling 352-669-3101 or visit their web site at https://electronmachine.com.

Inline Process Refractometers for Food & Beverage


Inline process refractometers are used in many food and beverage applications. Some examples are beer, wine, gelatin & gummy candies, soy milk & tofu, tomato purée, ketchup, brine, canned coffee, jams, jellies, and honey.

The  process refractometer is used to assist in controlling sweetness and dissolved solids. The sensor is mounted in the sanitary process piping, while the control electronics are remotely mounted and provide outputs and communications to larger supervisory control systems.

For more information about inline process refractometers used in food and beverage applications, contact Electron Machine Corporation by calling 352-669-3101 or visiting https://electronmachine.com.

°Brix Measurement with Inline Refractometers

Refractometers measure Brix in juice
Refractometers are used to measure Brix in various juices.
A wide variety of food and beverage products rely on sweetness as a standard of consistency and quality. The unit of measurement to determine the concentration of sugar in food and beverage is °Brix (degrees Brix). Commercial processors of juices, wine, beer, soft drinks, tomato products, dairy, maple syrup, honey, jams and jellies implement the use of some form of refractometry to determine °Brix in their products.

°Brix (symbol °Bx) is the percentage of sugar dissolved in the subject product. One degree Brix equals 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution. °Bx is a degree scale from 1-100. A solution that is 15°Bx is 15 percent sucrose by weight. Measuring °Bx is based on the index of refraction or the density of the process media at specific reference temperatures of 20°C.

inline industrial refractometers
Inline industrial refractometer with control electronics.
One type of instrument used to measure °Bx is called a refractometer. Smaller food and beverage producers use hand-held refractometers to determine °Brix in product batches. Large scale producers, with continuous processing or high volume batches, use highly accurate, rugged, inline industrial refractometers which are installed on the process piping and become part of their overall control scheme.

All refractometers use the refractive index (RI) of the food/beverage concentration as the measurement method to determine °Bx.  The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a material is a dimensionless number that describes how fast light propagates through the material, or in other words, how much the path of light is bent, or refracted, when entering a material.

Refractometers often require some type of correction or linearization based upon the substance they are measuring. To account for other undissolved solids, organic acids or ethanol in the process media, specialized curves must be used. Inline process refractometers include these custom curves in the microprocessor programming, and can be selected through the refractometers user interface for varying product runs.

For more information about the measurement and control of °Brix using inline refractometers, contact Electron Machine Corporation.

352-669-3101