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(Certificate No. LRQ 0963791).



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Refractometer Shop Blog


Digital Handheld Refractometer for Artisan Food Manufacturing

March 7th, 2017

When it comes to Artisan Food manufacturing many people turn to optical refractometers, such as this Brix Refractometer for Jam, as a quality control tool. Refractometers are simple instruments which use the speed of light passing through a sample to determine ‘refractive index’. The refractive index is related to the sample density, and hence its concentration (total dissolved solids). Optical handheld refractometers are simple to use. A small sample is applied to the prism and then a reading is taken by holding the instrument’s eyepiece up to your eye. Here you’ll be able to view a distinct split straight across the calibrated scale. We call this point the “borderline”.

 

Using an optical refractometer is great for homogenous samples such as soft drinks, fruit juices or even marmalades but when it comes to foodstuffs made up of emulsions containing fatty compounds, such as dairy products (including milk and yoghurt) that cause the light to scatter, the borderline cast onto the refractometer scale of an optical refractometer becomes blurred. This makes it difficult for the human eye to determine a finite reading.

 

Foodstuffs with fatty compounds cause light to scatter

 

Let’s Go Digital

This is where digital refractometers come in. Digital refractometers are ideal as they use an “internal reflection method” to illuminate the sample, and a sensitive detector (with some really clever mathematics) to easily and quickly establish the sharpest point of a blurred borderline to provide a stable reading.

RFM340-T

Applying sample to the RFM340-T

 

In an experiment to see how a digital handheld refractometer may be used as a quality control tool for a yoghurt manufacturer, Bellingham + Stanley, a Xylem brand, took a number of yoghurt samples varying by fat content and flavour, and applied them to a high accuracy RFM340-T digital refractometer. This instrument, typically found in a laboratory or factory, was used to establish both the average reading and quality number; the latter being a comparison of the borderline sharpness to that of water at 100. The samples were also applied to an OPTi digital handheld refractometer to establish readability and average concentration in the Brix scale.

 

It can be seen that the yoghurt samples gave relatively low quality numbers on the RFM340-T, confirming their poor borderline characteristics that would be indeterminable using an optical refractometer. The Brix values (total dissolved solids) from the RFM340-T showed a spread of 0.1 to 0.2 Brix between applications, confirming reliable measurement.

 

Likewise, the readings on the OPTi refractometer were also stable to within 0.2 between applications and were comparable to the readings established on the laboratory instrument.

 

OPTi refractometer

Taking a reading with an OPTi

 

The experiment confirmed the suitability of an OPTi digital handled refractometer as a tool for quality control checking of yoghurt and other non-homogenous food samples where optical refractometers are not so easily used; offering artisan food producers a quick and easy method of controlling non-homogenous product during manufacture and beyond.

 

Consistent Results Require Temperature Control

Temperature control when measuring with a refractometer is key to achieving accurate and consistent results. Here at Refractometer Shop this is something we are keenly aware of and that is why we have teamed up with thermometer and data logger specialists, ebro – a Xylem brand, in order to bring you the perfect line-up of complementary products to our handheld refractometer range.

 

Founded in 1968, ebro Electronic has specialised in designing and manufacturing high quality instruments for measuring temperature, humidity, pH-values, oil quality and pressure. Products designed by ebro are suitable for use in a variety of demanding situations including food and beverage, medical, pharmaceutical as well as for use at home.

 

We’ll now be stocking high quality products such as the TLC 700 digital precision fold-back core temperature thermometer (ideal for use in brewing, food preparation or general industrial applications) and the EBI 300 reusable USB temperature data loggers with optional temperature and humidity probes. These pocket-sized USB data loggers monitor critical temperatures of valuable samples such as human tissue, chemicals and foodstuffs during transit. Being reusable means that once a job has been completed and a reading taken, the EBI 300 can be reset and is then ready to monitor again.

 

If reusing a data logger is not of interest, then we’ve got that covered too! The EBI 330-T30 is a single use USB data logger similar to the reusable EBI 300, but without the easy-to-read LCD screen and extended battery time and memory. Simply connect the data logger to a USB port on your PC to take a reading from the automatically generated PDF report. The EBI 330 Single Use Data Logger is perfect for one-way trips. It comes in packs of 10 and can be purchased here.

 

For those looking for a multipurpose thermometer, look no further than ebro’s TLC 730. This device is a dual-function thermometer offering both core readings via its foldable penetration probe and infrared sensor for the most hygienic way of measuring temperature.

For a full range of thermometers and data loggers at Refractometer Shop click here and for our entire catalogue of refractometers visit the website.

 


 

 


OPTi handheld refractometer monitors hydration levels of World Class Athletes

August 8th, 2016

In today’s highly competitive sports arena, world class athletes no longer rely on hard work and determination alone to achieve their goal; sports science is now a key to success and refractometers play a vital role in ensuring optimum levels of hydration are maintained during training and competition.

The OPTi-Sport handheld refractometer hygienically provides measurement in two scale formats; one for measuring the sugar content of liquids ingested and more importantly a second scale to monitor urine specific gravity, which is directly linked to hydration.  Operation is simple.  First the correct scale is selected then with just a small amount of sample on the prism, the read button is depressed.  The temperature corrected result is then digitally displayed in less than 4-seconds.

The OPTi-Sport urine analysis equipment provided by Bellingham + Stanley, a Xylem brand, provides the Great Britain and England Hockey Teams with scientific evidence to support their hydration protocols during training and competition. This allows elite players the opportunity to optimise their performances and junior players an education tool.” Laura Hanna, National Physiotherapy Manager, Great Britain and England Hockey.

OPTi refractometer helps athletes

 


 

 

 


Eclipse: Handheld Optical Refractometers

May 19th, 2016

refractometer shop

Handheld refractometers are low-cost, portable instruments that are used for quick and efficient ‘on the spot’ determination of Refractive Index (RI) from liquids or the concentration of solutions. Offering a choice of scales, Eclipse refractometers can be used in a multitude of applications across many different industries.

The Eclipse is available in over 25 scale variations including 2 low volume models that can be used by botanists for the study of nectars. These low volume refractometers are fitted with a special flap designed to measure sample volumes close to 1 micro-litre.

Quality at an affordable price

Eclipse refractometers put the power of a professional grade optical refractometer in the palm of your hand. By combining the best available modern manufacturing methods and materials and a fantastic understanding of customer requirements, thanks to a century-long history in the business,  Bellingham + Stanley has achieved a quality instrument at an affordable price.

Thanks to its durable rubber hand-grip, comfortable eyepiece and shaded field of view, the Eclipse optical refractometer is both a practical and aesthetically pleasing design.

Special features make measurements easy and reliable

  • Simple zero adjust with lock
  • Comfortable eyepiece with smooth adjustment
  • Shaded field of view for comfort and distinction
  • High precision, clear scale
  • Easy-clean prism
  • Unique sample ‘dribble’ feature
  • Hand-grip for comfort and insulation
  • Low weight
  • Anti-roll supports
  • Push-on prism flap

You can find an Eclipse handheld refractometer to suit you at our online shop, RefractometerShop where you’ll also find our range of OPTi digital handheld refractometers, budget e-line refractometers as well as thermometers and data loggers.

 


 


Thermometers and data loggers now available at Refractometer Shop

April 6th, 2016

TLC700

Temperature control when measuring with a refractometer is key to achieving accurate and consistent results. Here at Refractometer Shop this is something we are keenly aware of and that is why we have teamed up with thermometer and data logger specialists, ebro – a Xylem brand, in order to bring you the perfect line-up of complementary products to our handheld refractometer range.

Founded in 1968, ebro Electronic has specialised in designing and manufacturing high quality instruments for measuring temperature, humidity, pH-values, oil quality and pressure. Products designed by ebro are suitable for use in a variety of demanding situations including food and beverage, medical, pharmaceutical as well as for use at home.

We’ll now be stocking high quality products such as the TLC 700 digital precision fold-back core temperature thermometer (ideal for use in brewing, food preparation or general industrial applications) and the EBI 300 reusable USB temperature data loggers with optional temperature and humidity probes. These pocket-sized USB data loggers monitor critical temperatures of valuable samples such as human tissue, chemicals and foodstuffs during transit. Being reusable means that once a job has been completed and a reading taken, the EBI 300 can be reset and is then ready to monitor again.

If reusing a data logger is not of interest, then we’ve got that covered too! The EBI 330-T30 is a single use USB data logger gives comparable readings to the reusable EBI 300, but without the easy-to-read LCD screen and extended battery time and memory. Simply connect the data logger to a USB port on your PC to take a reading from the automatically generated PDF report. The EBI 330 Single Use Data Logger is perfect for one-way trips. It comes in packs of 10 and can be purchased here.

For those looking for a multipurpose thermometer, look no further than ebro’s TLC 730. This device is a dual-function thermometer offering both core readings via its foldable penetration probe and infrared sensor for the most hygienic way of measuring temperature.

For a full range of thermometers and data loggers at Refractometer Shop click here and for our entire catalogue of refractometers visit the website.

 


 


High Quality Refractometer For Environmental Monitoring

March 9th, 2016

thistle_banner

In this paper taken from The Journal of Apicultural Science (Vol. 46 No.2 2002) Boleslaw Jablonski shares Notes On The Method To Investigate Nectar Secretion Rate In Flowers. Here Boleslaw advises on how to use an Abbe refractometer to measure the sugar content of nectar samples, however we think there’s a much more convenient way to do this and Sarah A Corbet of University of Cambridge agrees. She writes (in an extract taken from Bees and the nectar of Echium vulgare):

 

“I collected nectar in micro-capillary tubes and measured the volume per flower; and then at once measured concentrations of sugar with a refractometer modified by the markers (Bellingham + Stanley, Tunbridge Wells) for small volumes (0.5ul) of liquid. Concentrations are expressed as the equivalent percentage of sucrose by weight. This enabled the absolute quantity of sugar per flower to be determined.”

 

The refractometer in question is a modified Eclipse optical handheld refractometer.

 

The Eclipse refractometer is available in many scales. It is a high quality, professional grade, portable refractometer being ideal for measuring in the field or in the lab.

 

The low volume performance of the modified instrument is achieved by using a special prism flap which has a precision machined face which enables very close contact with the prism and hence a very thin film of sample.

 

Nectar samples taken by entomologists and zoologists from flowers can be measured accurately by this specialist low volume refractometer which is available in two distinct models: sugar % or °0-50 <micro litre and °45-80 <1micro litre.

 

Not only is the Eclipse handheld refractometer lightweight, portable and durable with its large barrel and thick rubber shield for easy handling but it’s also extremely simple to use. Simply lift the flap, drop sample onto the prism then lower the flap. To focus your scale and take a reading, hold the instrument to the light and look through the eyepiece, whilst rotating the barrel to focus the scale.

 

As with all instruments of this type, make sure you thoroughly clean the prism and flap immediately after use with water and dry with a clean tissue.

 

Visit www.refractometershop.com to learn more about Eclipse handheld refractometers.

 

Model 45-81 (sugar % or °Brix 0-50)
Model 45-82 (sugar % or °Brix 45-80)

 

Click here if you want to read more from Notes On The Method To Investigate Nectar Secretion Rate In Flowers.

 

Click here if you would like to read more from Bees and the nectar of Echium vulgare.

 


 

 


Refractometers play a vital role in measuring colostrum quality

February 19th, 2016

Foals with low levels of immunoglobulin are in danger of becoming immunologically compromised and at times this can put them in a potentially life threatening position. The quality of a mare’s colostrum levels should be monitored to ensure that the foal receives enough immunoglobulin to survive.

 

A quick and easy method to determine colostral quality at the time of foaling is by using a Bellingham + Stanley handheld refractometer. Measurements can be taken by using a well-mixed colostrum sample and placing a small drop onto the glass prism. After closing the cover, the value from the scale (Brix) can be applied to a specific conversion table, as seen below.

milkconversionchart

 

The use of the refractometer allows the level of immunoglobulin to be assessed quickly (in seconds) and effectively and immediate treatment can follow. The refractometer is an invaluable and simple aid to securing these measurements without the need for large amounts of sample.

 

For more information, or to purchase a refractometer for mare’s milk click here or visit www.refractometershop.com.

Grass

 


NOTE: Information contained herein is purely a guide and reference should be made to published studies on this matter for further detail. Bellingham + Stanley accept no responsibility for losses caused by this method of analysis.


UK Vineyard Produces Award Winning Wine With OPTi Refractometer

January 21st, 2016

Sedlescombe Vineyard combines traditional biodynamic methods with modern day technology to produce some of England’s finest wines.

 

Located in the heart of East Sussex near Hastings, Sedlescombe Vineyard has been producing high quality estate bottled English organic wine since 1979.

 

Now producing up to 30,000 bottles a year, their most recent accolades include two Gold International Organic Wine Awards for its biodynamic wines, Sedlescombe 2013 Pinot Noir-Chardonnay and 2010 Regent.

 

“Sugar content and pH is paramount to creating a good wine and getting this right from the outset is of utmost importance,” says Roy Cook, winemaker and long-term owner of Sedlescombe Vineyard.  “We use a digital refractometer to monitor grape ripeness to make sure we harvest at the optimum time and then we look to balance the pH using a high precision EcoSense® pH-PEN as it is capable of measuring to two decimal places, which helps us to strike the right balance between acidity and sweetness.”

 

Both refractometer and pH-PEN were supplied by UK instrument maker Bellingham + Stanley via its online shop www.RefractopmeterShop.com that includes refractometers, precision thermometers, pH meters, data loggers and even more sophisticated but affordable instrumentation commonly used by artisan food producers.
You can read more about Sedlescombe Vineyard’s award winning wines at their website and you can find out more about OPTi digital handheld refractometers here.

 

 

OPTi - grape close-up blog

 

 


Measuring the dilution of green energy solutions

December 10th, 2015

OPTi-HT Series refractometers: measuring the dilution of green energy solutions.

 

Whether thermal heat collectors are above ground as part of a closed loop hot water system or as a more complex geothermal installation where collection pipes are laid below lakes, ponds and garden landscapes, consideration to heat transfer efficiency and more importantly the effects of freezing weather conditions in winter has to be considered from the outset.

 

Manufacturers have adopted propylene glycol as the base chemical for most heat transfer fluids not only because of it’s high heat transfer characteristics that allows energy to easily flow between the source and circulated fluid but also as it has excellent antifreeze properties that provides protection in the sub-zero temperatures of winter keeping systems fully operational and ensuring energy harvest all year round!

 

However, getting the concentration right from the outset of installation and during routine maintenance is paramount to both system efficiency and protection and many turn to the Bellingham + Stanley OPTi-HT Series of digital hand held refractometers to accurately measure the dilution ratios of such heat transfer fluids.

 

OPTi-HT Series refractometers are available as single or dual scale instruments with results displayed as °C Frost Protection, % Glycol by volume and of course the core measurement, refractive index.


 


For consistency and quality, think OPTi

November 11th, 2015

“Winning and keeping lucrative supply contracts depends on delivering consistent product quality. A refractometer gives you precisely that.”

 

The new OPTi+ digital handheld refractometers launched by renowned instrument manufacturers Bellingham + Stanley offers versatile measurement across the food and beverage manufacturing process. The need for SMEs to provide a consistent quality product has never been greater and the OPTi+ is the ideal instrument to help you achieve this, particularly for satisfying any applicable Trading Standards requirements.

 

With the OPTi+ available in single or dual scale derivatives covering the 0-95°Brix or scale equivalent, sample specific temperature compensation and a digital readout, the OPTi+ provides more reliable results than a traditional optical refractometer.

 

Only water is required for daily calibration and unlike others on the market that use only expensive short life reference materials, the OPTi series has a unique “AG Test Mode” that permits the use of long-life non sucrose based AG Fluid to check instrument performance.

 

Opti Refractometer