Food & Beverage
Life Sciences
Inline Refractometer for Brix concentration measurement IRM-11

IRM-11 Refractometer

The IRM-11 is Anderson-Negele’s in-line refractometer designed for use in dairy, food, and beverage processing applications.

Find here more info and FAQs about refractometers and concentration measurement:

How can an inline refractometer optimize processes, secure product quality and reduce costs?

When traveling through media with different density, light rays are bent or refracted. The density of a liquid medium depends on the concentration of dissolved matter in the liquid. When this density or concentration changes, consequently the refractive index of the light, i.e. the angle in which the ray is bent or refracted, will also change as a result.
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As an inline Brix meter, the IRM-11 constantly and precisely measures this refractive index with an integrated optical sensing technology. It calculates the value of the concentration of dissolved substances such as sugar, salts or lactose in media and transmits it to the PLC. This enables, for example, to accurately control the blending ratio of juices, mixed drinks and soft drinks, or to determine the dry matter in dairy products and the original wort in brewing processes.
Three key features of the IRM-11 refractometer are fundamental for a superior efficiency of process analysis:

In which applications do sanitary inline refractometers offer advantages?

The inline analysis of media based on their density or concentration offers great advantages in many areas of application. Integrated process refractors can analyze liquids, fruit preparations and creams in a variety of production processes in the beverage and juice industries, dairies, breweries, wine production and other food businesses. And always according to qualitative criteria in real time, fully automatically and in the process line.
Here are examples of typical applications:

Control of the blending:

monitoring of the concentrate, dosage control for a constant sugar content when blending the final product, and quality control in the bottling of various beverages and foods:

Determination of dry matter:

In many dairies, spray drying is an efficient method to obtain high-quality whey powder from milk or other milk products.

Measurement of mash concentration and original wort:

by continuously measuring the Brix or Plato value during wort boiling, the specified value of the original wort can be monitored.

Glycol control in the primary cooling circuit:

If water enters the glycol circuit due to leaks in the cooling system, this is not visible to the naked eye.

How does a refractometer work?

Liquids or gases (such as air) with different densities refract or bend light rays to different degrees. If a pen is held in a glass of water, it appears bent when viewed from the side because of the differing refractive index between air and water. The light propagates at different angles as it passes between media. By measuring this angle, the density of the medium and thus the concentration can be determined very accurately.

What types of refractometers are available for concentration measurement?

For food and beverages, handheld refractometers and inline or process refractometers are primarily used. In beer or wine production, these devices are typically applied to control the status of the fermentation process in lautering or fermentation tanks by means of manual sampling. Handheld refractometers are less suitable in production processes, where these manual samples must be taken at short intervals for precise process control, often every 20 minutes. Here inline or process refractometers offer clear advantages.

What is an inline refractor or process refractor?

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Inline refractors are integrated directly into the piping of a process plant by means of sanitary process connection. Here they continuously measure and analyze the media in the pipes. For this purpose, an LED source directs light into the process media. The density of the liquid has a direct effect on the light radiation and changes the refractive index. A receiver records the angle of the light's reflection and thus the refractive index. Since the refractive index of a medium also depends strongly on its temperature, a temperature-compensated value is calculated in the sensor's measuring electronics and output on the scale selected by the customer. The units are °Brix, °Plato, nD refractive index or in other individual scale.

How can an inline refractometer save operative costs?

What does sanitary design mean for refractometers?

The IRM-11 refractometers are made of the highest quality materials: Due to its compact and only 480 gr. light, but at the same time extremely robust and durable design, the sensor withstands even the highest mechanical stresses such as vibrations and pressure surges, which frequently occur in many applications in practice, and permanently ensure the highest measuring precision.