Flexible future forecasted for lab testing
Equipment caters to growing, changing beverage market
Anton Paar’s line of soft drink analyzers expanded to include measurement of all diet soft drinks. The company also enhanced its Alcolyzer systems for measuring alcohol content in beer, wine and spirits.
With more beverages introduced to the market every day, lab testing equipment suppliers are tasked with developing equipment to accommodate the growing marketplace. “As the beverage market grows and expands, manufacturers will need the flexibility to measure as many different parameters in their drinks as possible — accurately and efficiently,” says Wallace Harvey, national sales manager for laboratory products for Anton Paar, Ashland, Va.
Equipment suppliers that can meet those needs will find themselves at an advantage, Harvey adds. “Those lab equipment suppliers who can respond with equipment that can best address these needs with modular designs that are easy-to-use and affordable will be in the best position to cater to the testing needs of the beverage market,” he says.
With beverage-makers developing more low- and no-calorie drinks, the need for lab equipment has grown recently. “The trend toward adopting healthier lifestyles has put an increased emphasis on low-calorie beverages,” Harvey says. “Our new diet soft drink measuring options allow beverage manufacturers to get the same consistent results on their diet drinks as they are used to with their non-diet soft drinks.”
Because of its modular design, Harvey states that it was easy for Anton Paar to expand its soft drink analyzers to include measurement of all diet soft drinks.
“The equipment enables existing users of our beverage analyzers — or new users as well — to easily update and expand their systems to include measurement of diet soft drinks,” he says. “The system works for all types of diet soft drinks, regardless of their color and consistency — clear, dark or turbid. The measurement is also specific and when performed properly is not subject to influences from changes in process water or other factors.”
To accommodate the alcohol sector, Anton Paar also has made improvements to its equipment. “Our Alcolyzer systems for measuring alcohol content in beer, wine and spirits have just been enhanced with an improved user interface and numerous expansion capabilities,” Harvey says.
The Alcolyzer Spirits M/ME determines the alcohol content from 35 to 65 percent by volume, color and pH value of alcohol beverages. The Alcolyzer Wine M/ME determines further parameters in a single cycle, such as extract content. The patented NIR measuring method eliminates the influence of other sample constituents on the alcohol measurement and therefore guarantees highly precise results, the company says. In addition to measuring the alcohol content for wine, it can be used to measure sparkling wine, cider and sake.
For measuring all types of beer, mixtures and ciders, the Alcolyzer Beer Analyzing System is a highly accurate beer analysis system that determines the alcohol content, the company says. The system consists of the DMA 4500 M or DMA 5000 M density meter, the Alcolyzer Beer ME measuring module and the Xsample 122 sample changer. The patented NIR measuring method eliminates the influence of other sample constituents on the alcohol measurement to guarantee highly precise results, the company says.
Harvey says density meters are commonly used by beverage manufacturers for various measurements of brix in soft drinks and alcohol in wine and spirits. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen measurement systems also are popular in the beverage industry, he adds. Anton Paar provides an alternative method for measuring alcohol in beer, wine and spirits using a near-infrared measuring principle.
“The key feature of all of these products that makes them so useful in the beverage laboratory is that they can measure these parameters in the finished product — regardless of whether the package is a can or bottle and irrespective of the size of the package,” he says. “Color touch screens and a modular design make the systems easy for customers to use and allow them to add and modify the equipment as their testing needs change.”
Harvey says that modular and expandable designs are important to meet evolving needs of the beverage industry. “The modular and expandable aspects of our systems allow beverage-makers to respond quickly to the demands of a constantly changing marketplace,” he says.
Accuracy and speed also are important aspects of lab testing equipment. Zahm & Nagel, Buffalo, N.Y., offers its Series 5000 Zahm New Style Air Tester. Zahm & Nagel recommends its use for testing air content where greater speed and accuracy is required. It adjusts automatically to various size bottles and cans and is available in 1- and 2-liter sizes. Zahm & Nagel also offers numerous products for CO2 testing, such as the Series 1000 CO2 Volume Meter for tank-stored beverages; the Series 6000 D.T. Piercing Device for glass, PET bottles and cans; the Series 10,000 Gas Purity Tester, which is an improved absorption bottle designed to eliminate confusing cocks, hose connections, awkward manipulation and the usual caustic spillage; and the Series 14,000 Computerized Piercing Device, a newly developed instrument for testing volumes of CO2 gas in bottles and cans. BI