Wednesday 19 October 2011

Analysing milk!

OPTIQUAD-M is a new analysis system used for the continuous, non-contact measurement of protein, fat and lactose in milk products. The system, which is introduced by Krohne, offers operators of dairies and cheese dairies new opportunities when it comes to process optimisation and quality improvement.

Unlike sampling with laboratory analysis, in which case the data is only available after a delay and where any intervention into the process is also correspondingly late, the OPTIQUAD-M analysis system measures the ingredients continuously and without contact using optical spectroscopy. In this principle, light of different wavelengths is coupled into the product through an optical window. The system simultaneously measures the values of up to four optical effects (transmission, scattering, fluorescence and refraction) which, depending on the substances in the product, manifest in different ways, and then uses them to calculate the amounts of protein, fat and lactose. As soon as the values change, the operator can intervene in production and take steps to counteract. The result is consistently high product quality. Typical applications include the increase of protein content in the cheesemaking milk/vat milk, standardisation of fat content in drinking milk or setting a constant ratio of fat to protein in cheese production.

Unlike bypass devices, the OPTIQUAD-M measures without contact directly in the pipeline: the system is connected to the process via a standard VARINLINE connection. The measuring section complies with the FDA and can be cleaned using SIP/CIP. There is no need for daily recalibration thanks to the long-term stability of the optical measurement, which does not contain any moving parts. In addition, operating and maintenance costs are lowered as there is no need for chemicals, reagents or cleaning agents.

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