Problem: In an age of ever-increasing consumer requirements and the enforcement of strict regulations such as the Food Law and Foodstuffs and Commodities Act (US Food and Drug Administration, §64 LFBG), it is vital that beverage manufacturers demonstrate the quality and safety of their final product. Poor food quality or dangerous levels of specific ingredients (such as citric acid in beverages) can have disastrous results, from an impact on consumers’ health to the exorbitant costs of recalls.
Citric acid is the acidulant of choice in the beverage industry and is used extensively in carbonated beverages for flavor enhancement and as a natural preservative. However, its use can cause serious health risks if consumed excessively and, as a result, its content in beverages has to be monitored. This means that adherence to health and safety legislation is critical.
The compliance of manufactured beverages with health and safety guidelines has to be monitored throughout the entire production cycle in order to eliminate possible safety hazards and ensure that ingredients are kept within specified ranges. Critical control points (CCPs) for manufacturers include “on-line”, “at-line” and “off-line” analytics. “On-line” processes include monitoring and improving production parameters on the production line, with time and throughput being the most important factors. “At-line” monitoring is used to determine the parameters of the finished product, against specified requirements, with quick tests and simple screenings such as pH measurements. Finally, “off-line” analytics include in-depth analyses performed in quality control laboratories by trained employees to ensure a product conforms to particular specifications.
In the mass production of beverages, experts have to meticulously check, at routine intervals throughout the entire production process, that the concentrations of various soft drink ingredients are within the prescribed limits. This level of monitoring requires a versatile, accurate and fast method of analysis.
|The TitroLine 6000 from SI Analytics, part of ITT Analytics|
Solution: Titration is a common laboratory method of quantitative chemical analysis used to determine the unknown concentration of a known reactant, such as citric acid in beverage products. It works by providing an accurate measure of how much of a chemical substance is dissolved in a given volume of solution and can therefore provide manufacturers with the precise quantity of reactant in a sample. The completion of the reaction is demonstrated by a pH meter and electrode or a change in color caused by an indicator.
Titration uses instrumentation with which volumes of solutions can be measured to an accuracy greater than 0.1%. With reactions taking between two and four minutes, this versatile method can be successfully employed to conduct fast, accurate, clear, and repeatable analyses in various industries, including the beverage industry. Furthermore, recent technological developments have expanded the technique’s capabilities and provided users with a new range of possibilities that enhance speed and accuracy.
Quality control analysis in the beverage industry is often a demanding process requiring high throughput, flexibility, and accurate instrumentation. As a result of the latest technological innovations, the monitoring of certain ingredients including citric acid can be easily optimized to ensure quality and safety of the final product. Designed for advanced titration and dosing applications, the SI Analytics TitroLine series from ITT Analytics is well-suited for a range of quality control applications throughout the entire beverage production cycle, enabling users to demonstrate a product’s adherence to prescribed limits. The new TitroLine® 6000 is a “stand alone” system while the TitroLine® 7000 automatic titrator can function as both a “stand alone” and a PC-controlled system. It features an easyto- use PC-based interface, eliminating the need for extensive training and providing trouble-free analyses at all CCPs in the process. High throughput is also ensured as a result of the instruments’ automatic recognition of both the dispensing module and reagent data, optimizing productivity for the manufacturer. In addition, the easy-to-read display tracks titration curve and data for fast and reliable analyses at all stages. The TITRONIC® 500 piston burette allows users to perform dosing operations quickly while conducting manual titrations with ease, ensuring accurate measurement. The TITRONIC® 500 can also be used with the TitroLine® 7000 for pre-dose operations.
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