The soft drink industry produces beverages such as fruit juice, energy drinks and carbonated drinks. One of the key factors in producing these beverages is maintaining consistency between batches of their product for quality control and process control. In order to keep this consistency the manufacture needs to test the product to determine the total concentration of water-soluble solids (Brix value). For practical purposes the Brix value is generally interpreted as sugar content because soft drinks contain only very small amounts of other ingredients, with the majority being sugar.
Testing of the Brix value is usually performed using a refractometer, preferably a digital refractometer. Digital refractometers provide a higher degree of accuracy and precision as compared to hand held analogue refractometers. Some digital refractometers can also be connected to a computer and/or printer via an RS232 serial port for documentation of test results as performed at processing sites, quality control rooms or research and development labs.
Automatic bench top digital refractometers have extra added features which include a thermo-module to control the temperature of the product, thus eliminating the need for a constant temperature water bath. The measurement starts automatically after the sample reaches your targeted temperature. Digital refractometers that are designed specifically for beverage testing have the added feature of a flat sample stage designed for easy clean up.
These high-end digital refractometers also offer multiple user scales so you can pre-program the instrument for your specific applications. Sample user scales can be additionally set to measure lubricating oil, water soluble cutting oil, water-soluble detergent, brine solutions, ethylene and propylene glycol, gelatin, salt water and seawater, glycerin and fire extinguisher solutions.
An example of an automatic digital bench top digital refractometer is the ATAGO RX-5000 alpha-bev refractometer. This instrument has 60 different user scales that can be input according to your sample type. As a world leader in the production of refractometers ATAGO products are well-trusted for their accuracy and ease of use.