Food | Measurement of fruit and vegetable concentrates

Producers of concentrates rely on sugar concentration (°Brix) monitoring to optimize the evaporation process in terms of time and energy consumption. The concentration (°Brix) values measured at the inlet and outlet of the evaporation column provides best data for automated process control. Anton Paar’s inline refractometer L-Rix 5100 has proven to be well suited for the continuous monitoring of sugar concentration for food and beverage production processes and can be directly installed into the production line or tank to measure concentration in °Brix in real-time.

Concentrates production

Concentrates are made of fresh products to make fruits and vegetables available throughout the year independent of the season and to reduce costs for storage and transportation. Evaporators are used to decrease the water content of the juices or pastes. Depending on the product this can be up to 35 °Brix for tomato concentrates and up to 65 °Brix for juice concentrates. The most common finished products are purees, cloudy or pulpy juices and clear juices single strength or concentrate.

The most important measure in the evaporation process is the sugar concentration of the juice, paste or concentrate, which is expressed in °Brix. The inline monitoring of the sugar concentration of both, the product at the inlet of the evaporation column and the concentrate at the outlet, is critical for the optimization of the process and the quality of the final product. Refractometers have been widely used for many years in the food industry, for measuring such products as sugar in refineries, jams, soft drinks and fruit juices. As these products can be turbid and pulpy, an in-line refractometer is perfectly suited to measure the refractive index and determine the sugar content of intermediate and final products.

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