Analysis of particle size and shape in product development and quality control of fruit juices
Freshly squeezed orange juice and other fruit juices with higher fruit flesh content are becoming increasingly popular. There are also modern, healthy drinks with pieces of fruit – such as pineapple, aloe, coconut, pumpkin, strawberry that have a high fibre content. The chunky, natural fruit components play an important role in high-quality fruit drinks. They need to be treated as carefully as possible and appear intact in the final product; this places special demands on the production and filling process. The reliable characterisation of the solid components in terms of size and shape ensures compliance with quality standards in incoming goods, further processing to the final product itself.
Traditionally, processes such as wet screening and microscopy are used in the analysis of fruit juice. These measurement principles are usually very time consuming and yet can acquire record a small number of particles, which weakens the validity of the analysis. The dynamic image analysis with QICPIC opens up the possibility of determining characteristics such as the size and shape of juice cells, fruit pieces, fibres or pulps directly in the drink from development to production. In this case, large sample volumes with a high number of particles are measured in a short period of time and this therefore provides statistically relevant measurement results.
Particle distribution of pulps in orange juice (FERETmean)
Wet dispersion systems, such as FLOWCELL or LIXELL, facilitate very careful treatment of the sample material. The corresponding control and evaluation software PAQXOS enables a variety of meaningful analyses for the exploration of the acquired data. Various evaluation modes, distribution diagrams for size and shape, a particle gallery or the raw data film measurement provide a comprehensive insight and enable a deeper understanding of the product and process.
Measurement methods developed for various product qualities can be transferred to other systems as a standard operating procedure (SOP) – also at other sites. Consistently high product qualities can be controlled correspondingly reliably and justify the confidence in the premium quality of the products.
- Wet measurement
- Careful treatment of the material before and during the measurement
- Good and sharp image of the particles for the size and shape analysis
- Quick and reproducible measurement
- Easy handling and cleaning of the measuring system
- Good comparability of results at different locations
- Display of suitable shape factors for quality assessment
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- Meaningful and quick results within minutes
- High statistical reliability due to high number of particles
- High system-to-system comparison thanks to standard operating procedures (SOPs)
- Less overhead for sample preparation
- Free movement of coarse particles too in the measuring range and their random orientation
- User-specific selection and filter criteria for identifying certain fractions by size and shape
- Time saving thanks to quick and easy application
- Shorter measurement times compared to screening and microscopy
- Quick check of the quality of the fruit concentrate (raw material) in the incoming goods before processing
- Check of the squeeze level of the fruit cells
- Reliable identification of large, critical pieces of fruit
- Many different products measurable with a single system
- Same final product quality standards worldwide thanks to good system comparability and standardised measurement procedures
- Higher output quantities in the desired quality | Less waste