FOOD, FEED & BEVERAGES

Equipment Applications for Beverages

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From harvest to consumption, there are several steps associated with the wine production process. During the fermentation process, the transformation of sugar to ethanol is a chemical process, where optimal conversion efficiency is crucial.  

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Ethanol Fermentation

During the fermentation process, ~1 degree brix transforms to 0.55% ethanol. Within this process, the goal is to optimize fermentation efficiency until the desired ethanol level is achieved. With Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy the declining sugar levels are monitored, while simultaneously monitoring the increasing ethanol concentration. Within the 1650 – 1775 nm region, absorption from the 1st overtone region of C-H bonds for ethanol are monitored. The absorbance intensity in this region provides quantitative results for ethanol as the degree of fermentation process proceeds from 0 – 100% completion.

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Anthocyanin/Tannin (A/T) Ratio

Flavanoids (such as anthocyanins and tannins) are primarily responsible for the color and mouthfeel of wine and are released from the solid parts of the berries. The contact period of solids will determine the (A/T) ratio. Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy provides real-time A/T results to determine the optimal timing for skin/stem removal during the fermentation process.

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Flavor Profile

Red wines usually have their flavor profiles broken down into ten different categories: red wine, black fruit, floral aromas, herbaceous, pepper/spice, earthiness, baking spice and vanilla, leathery flavors, astringency, and body. Tannins, alcohol, body, sweetness, and acidity are considered the five basic characteristics of wine. The main families of flavor compounds of interest include esters, sulfur compounds, pyrazines, and terpenes amongst others. For example, members of the terpene family of compounds are what give rise to aroma profiles that are typically described as floral or rose-like, green, and herbaceous. Alongside this, sugars, polyphenols, and flavonoids influence the sweetness of a wine and ethanol contributes to the mouth-warming effect. NIR spectroscopy is a common analysis tool that can be used to efficiently identify the presence of overtones and combination bands of functional groups in a molecule. Each molecule that absorbs NIR radiation has a unique spectrum that can be used for unambiguous identification, and with the correct calibration information, can also be used for quantification.

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    Typical applications include white light interference for thin film analysis, UV absorption of proteins for quantitative analysis, colorimetry, impurity detection in water, cleaning validation for API manufacturing, polymerization inhibitor monitoring, electroplating bath monitoring....

    The spectroscopic methodology is determined by which parameters are important to monitor during a process. For example, if you want to monitor protein concentration in a bioreactor, in which the biosynthesis takes place in an aqueous medium, then you likely would want to use Raman spectroscopy for the application, as water does not contribute to the Raman signal. Alternatively, if moisture content is important, water has very strong absorption in the NIR due to several vibrational and combination modes that can be monitored; water is transparent in the UV and visible spectral region. Understanding which chemical is important as there could be various factors that influence the choice of methodology....

    NIR spectroscopy is utilized across a variety of industries for qualitative and quantitative product analysis. Typical industries include Chemistry, Pharmacology, Food Feed & Beverage, Agriculture, and others. NIR spectroscopy is well suited for species containing C-H, N-H & O-H bonds, making it a wide-range technology for a variety of applications such as moisture, fat, oil, alcohol, APIs, polymers, etc....

    Raman spectroscopy is a technique which is used for several markets. These industries include Oil and Gas, Pharmacology, Biotechnology, Petrochemistry and many others. Due to the high selectivity of Raman spectroscopy, it is a powerful tool for many applications including, hydrocarbon analysis, bioreactor protein monitoring, crystallization monitoring, API concentration, polymer identification, surfactant analysis, natural gas components and several others....

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