In-line process refractometer in beverage industry

22-02-2022

Concentration Measurement is very important for Australia’s wine and beverage manufacturers. In-line Process Refractometer is a revolutionary product installed straight in the production line. It can provide real time reading both on the panel and control system. Readings are always more accurate and reliable than other concentration measuring method. 

Brix (%), alcohol (%) and concentration measurement are three very important measurements in nearly all stages of the wine making process. Real time measurement of these three elements is required for our beverage manufacturers to ensure high standard quality and productivity. Currently, most beverage manufacturers rely on getting Brix (%) and alcohol (%) measurements from samples taken by employees. This traditional method is really inefficient compared to a real time reading from an in-line process refractometer. 

In red wine production process 

Red Wine manufacturer breaks high quality red grapes and then brings the mixed juice and residue into the fermentation process. There are 12 stages in the whole red wind production process. These 12 stages are raw material selection; sorting; stem removal; sterilization; rinsing; crushing; main fermentation; pressing; post-fermentation; storage; filtration; bottling; Main & post fermentation stages are most important stages in the whole process and require accurate monitor of sugar, alcohol and concentration level of the solution. 

In the preparation stage before main fermentation, brix needs to be adjusted based on the average brix level of used grapes. Accurate measurement is needed here or it will affect the quality and taste of the red wine. Liquid yeast needs to be carefully added to the fruit pulp. The amount is about 5%-10% of total fruit pulp. From here we need our in-line process refractometer to closely monitor the brix rate of fruit pulp. Add liquid yeast and sugar if needed to keep the brix rate at a certain level. The refractometer will also remind the operator when the required brix rate is achieved and read for post fermentation. At the post fermentation stage, real time concentration measurement becomes very important to determine if the required concentration of fruit pulp is reached. 

Impacts of refraction control 

The refractive index of fermentation juice is a very important index in the process of wine fermentation. Fermentation is the process by which sugars in grape juice are converted into alcohol. In normal fermentation, the refractive index value decreases continuously. Through the change of refractive index value: 

1. Can monitor the overall fermentation directly; 

2. Can determine if the fermentation process is smooth;

3. Can monitor if the transfer rate from sugar to alcohol is at normal level; 4. Can monitor any anomalies during fermentation; 

5. Can indicate whether the fermentation process is finished; 

The GND-15 In-line Process Refractometer is designed base on refraction theory. It can provide real time alcohol, sugar and concentration measurement. It will not be affected by liquid bubbles, changing pressure and other sediments in the juice pulp. The GND-15 has been widely used in the food and beverage industry already. This instrument helps lots of manufacturers to improve their productivity, quality and efficiency in their production line. It can also save water, raw material and energy usage during the whole production process.

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