Alpha-MOS USA (www.alpha-mos.com) demonstrated its electronic eye for visual determination of palatability, monitoring of shelf life, benchmarking competition, and controlling product quality and its electronic nose for fast and sensitive analysis of odors and highly volatile compounds. The IRIS VA 100 Visual Analyzer operates in a way similar to human visual perception: a detection system (a CCD camera) analyzes colors or shapes, transmits the signals to a computing system, and compares them to a standard or a defined pattern. The electronic eye analyzes the surface of each sample, including multiple samples, in a few seconds. In-depth analysis of complex images is accomplished by advanced multivariate statistics processing. The Heracles II Electronic Nose uses fast gas chromatography with two different metal capillary columns of different polarities mounted in parallel and connected to two flame ionization detectors. It has high repeatability, allowing headspace or liquid injection modes.
Intelligent Sensor Technology Inc. (www.insent.co.jp), along with Higuchi USA, exhibited its TS-5000Z Taste Sensing System, which uses artificial lipid-based taste sensors to evaluate sourness, saltiness, bitterness, sweetness, umami, astringency, and kokumi (richness) for various foods and beverages. The system provides high accuracy and high correlation to human sensory evaluation.
Kett US (www.kett.com) introduced its new C600 Rice Whiteness Tester, which replaces the standard C300 unit for rapid, nondestructive measurement of the whiteness of rice samples. The simple-to-use device allows users to measure rice whiteness in seconds without sample preparation. It also automatically displays the number of tests measured to simplify control of batch testing protocols.
Konica Minolta Sensing Americas Inc. (www.konicaminolta.com/sensingusa) described its instruments for color, light, and shape measurements. They include portable colorimeters as well as portable and benchtop spectrophotometers for color measurement, spectroradiometers and lux meters for light/display measurement, and 3D non-contact scanners for shape measurement. The company’s exhibit featured color measurement instruments CR-410, CR-5, BC-10, and CM-700.
VeriVide Ltd. (www.verivide.com) demonstrated its digital color measurement and imaging system. The DigiEye System digitally captures and measures texture, color, and appearance with high resolution and precision, consistently and repeatedly. The non-contact system measures the color as seen by the consumer and provides quantifiable, consistent visual assessment against an agreed visual standard. The noncontact system can measure individual or multiple products with irregular shapes and sheen, as well as multicolored objects, without sample destruction and without aperture restrictions.
C.W. Brabender® Instruments Inc. (www.cwbrabender.com) introduced its new Farinograph®-AT to the North American market. It includes an automatic water-dosing system that eliminates the potential for operator error during the addition of water to the flour in the mixer measuring head and the addition of an integrated, temperature- controlled 2 L water tank to the redesigned housing of the drive unit. The instrument records the temperature of the dosing water in the water tank and the temperature of the dough in the mixing bowl. It also offers a higher torque range suited for investigating various speed profiles and calculating mixing energy for new applications.
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Food Technology Corporation (www.foodtechcorp.com) launched its new TMS-Touch texture analyzer, a standalone system designed specifically for quick and easy food texture testing by unskilled operators. Easy to operate, the analyzer is controlled by an LCD Touch Screen.
Tests are performed at the push of a button, and regularly used tests can be saved as favorites for instant test recall and setup with password protection. The instrument can determine the textural properties of almost any food product, including baked goods, confectionery items, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Test methods such as breaking, snapping, tension, shearing, bulk analysis, compression, penetration, and extrusion tests are all easily performed.
Arizona Instrument LLC (www.azic.com) exhibited its Computrac MAX 4000XL Moisture/Solids Analyzer, which operates on the same principle as traditional oven drying methods. A prescribed amount of material is placed onto the pan on a balance. Once the correct amount of material is added, the instrument heats up to a specified temperature and the loss in moisture is measured. Multiple criteria can be used to end the test, which provides real-time measurements and often takes only a few minutes. The company also exhibited its Computrac Vapor Pro Moisture Specific Analyzer, which detects moisture levels as low as 10 ppm in as little as 5 min without the use of harmful reagents, chemicals, or glassware. It is a fast, easy, and cost-effective alternative to Karl Fischer titration methods.
Decagon Devices Inc. (www.aqualab.com) demonstrated its AquaLab Dew Point Moisture Analyzer 4TE Duo, which uses an infrared beam focused on a tiny mirror to determine the precise water activity of the sample, using the dew point method. That water activity reading is then translated into moisture content, based on a product-specific calibration model. The meter uses no chemicals or high temperatures and is said to have 10 times the precision of a typical moisture meter.
Perten Instruments (www.perten.com) exhibited its AM 5200 grain moisture meter, which provides improved accuracy, repeatability, and handling over its predecessor, the AM 5100. It includes an updated die-cast aluminum cell combined with modern radiofrequency electronics, a larger sample capacity, and a color touch screen. Flow-through analysis allows use in automatic sampling systems.
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments Inc. (www.ssi.shimadzu.com) announced the availability of its new MOC63u moisture analyzer with UniBloc sensor technology that ensures stable temperatures, excellent response time, and stable corner-load performance. It features multiple ending and drying modes to suit the sample characteristics. The easy-start mode allows for a fast response time, and the simple keypad permits easy operation. The long-life halogen heater prepares samples efficiently for quick and accurate measurement.
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Beckman Coulter Inc. (www.coultercounter.com) described its variety of analyzers for the characterization of particles and cells, including particle sizing, counting, size distribution, surface area using light scatter laser diffraction, and surface area analysis.
Brookfield Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (www.brookfieldengineering.com) exhibited its Powder Flow Tester for quick and easy analysis of powder flow behavior in processing equipment. It offers a new Small Volume Shear Cell for small powder samples as well as for materials that are difficult or messy to handle. The shear cell has the ability to generate higher consolidation stresses, which simulates conditions in larger bins and silos. The company also exhibited its redesigned DV-I Prime Viscometer, which now features an RS-232 PC interface for use with optional Wingather Software, a new printer output connection, direct access to timedmode viscosity measurements, and a temperature-sensing option.
Fluid Imaging Technologies Inc. (www.fluidimaging.com) exhibited its FlowCAM with Front-Fill Illumination particle imaging and analysis system. It features bidirectional front and back lighting that illuminates the surfaces of opaque particles and reveals their true colors and textures. Replacing twodimensional, black silhouettes with three-dimensional images, the instrument combines both bright-field and dark-field microscopy in a single unit. FlowCAM combines the speed of data acquisition of typical particle analyzers with the detailed individual particle information typical of microscopy.
Hosokawa Micron Powder Systems (www.hmicronpowder.com) introduced its Easy Access Mikro-ACM Air Classifier Mill, which allows for quick disassembly, minimizing down time for cleaning. The company discussed its line of precision milling equipment, high capacity classifiers, conical mixers, and particle analyzers. It also described its product development and product testing services.
Mercury Scientific Inc. (www.mercuryscientific.com) introduced its new Evolution Powder Tester for static flow applications. The instrument measures a material’s unconfined yield strength, a critical flow property, at pressures up to 500 KPa to create a flow function representing the material’s gain in strength as more pressure is applied to it. The standalone instrument tests a sample in approximately 3 min. It offers advantages in studying the effects of humidity and pressure over long periods of time. The company also demonstrated its Revolution Powder Analyzer for dynamic powder flow testing. Both instruments enable users to study the effects of processes and environmental conditions on their materials.
Spectrometers & Chromatographs
Buchi Corp. (www.buchi.com) displayed its NIRMaster, which is said to be the first standalone FT-NIR spectrometer specifically designed with hygiene in mind for the food and feed industries, making it suitable for routine quality control work in harsh environments. The instrument’s polarization interferometer not only provides the instrument with high sensitivity, ensuring accurate and reliable results, but also a level of robustness not typically found in instruments with other interferometer designs. It includes a built-in PC as well as ready-to-use calibrations for the food, feed, dairy, meat, and bakery industries. Its internal laser reference eliminates the need for frequent instrument standardizations.
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Cole-Parmer (www.coleparmer.com) displayed a variety of new products for food scientists and processors, including the company’s picoSpin™ Benchtop NMR Spectrometer, which is said to be the world’s first miniature NMR spectrometer that is portable and easy to use. Also on display were Atago® Programmable Digital Refractometers with Touch Screen, Oakton® Benchtop pH 700 Series meters, and other instruments.
Dionex Corp. (www.dionex.com.) featured its Dionex UltiMate® 3000 RSLC system and an Acclaim® Rapid Separation Liquid Chromatography (RSLC) analytical column. The company’s Application Note 248 describes their use as a sensitive, fast, and accurate method to determine anthocyanins in commercially available fruit juices, specifically pomegranate juice, using a simple dilution. The high demand for pomegranate juice, because of its high concentrations of anthocyanins and resulting high antioxidant activity, has led to widespread adulteration of pomegranate juice with filler ingredients.
NDC Infralab (www.ndcinfrared.com/foods) exhibited its InfraLab e-Series At-Line NIR Food Analyzers. Each instrument is optimized for a given set of measurements in a particular product type, such as moisture and oil in snacks; moisture, fat, and protein in biscuits, dairy products, and meats; moisture in coffee; and moisture and fat in chocolate. The analyzers use non-contacting multiwavelength NIR technology to measure the available parameters. Calibrated to primary reference methods, the analyzers provide rapid measurements in the QC lab or at the production line. With a measurement period of less than 10 sec, minimum sample preparation, and no special user skills requirement, the analyzers can be used to measure samples extracted at various stages of processing. The measurements are independent of product and ambient changes in the process area such as temperature, relative humidity, and factory lighting.
PerkinElmer Inc. (www.perkinelmer.com) showcased its new Spectrum Two™ infrared spectrometer, for quality control applications. The portable FT-IR spectrometer is designed specifically to perform rapid analytical measurements for unknown substance identification, material qualification, and concentration determination. It allows operators to perform simple, everyday measurements and complex analyses at the touch of a button and obtain precise results in minutes.
Armfield Ltd. (www.explorearmfield.co.uk) exhibited its new FT174X HTST/UHT Process System, a combination of HTST/UHT processing systems specifically designed to vary heat exchanger permutations to suit specific applications. The system offers multiple heating and cooling options for liquid products of varying viscosity by using plate heat exchangers, tubular heat exchangers, direct steam injection, or a combination of all three. The company also exhibited its FT102X Carbonator/Filler, which allows users to carbonate and fill small quantities of beverages, replicating the production process, as well as its FT80 Spray Dryer, FT25BBPA Combined Ice Cream & Margarine System, and FT111 Laboratory Scale Rapid Extractor.
MicroThermics (www.microthermics.com), the winner of the 2011 Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award, exhibited its MicroThermics® Lab UHT/HTST processors, which allow researchers to evaluate the effects of virtually any production continuous thermal process. The company’s 2011 DIPW processor combines indirect and steam injection heating (with vacuum cooling) into one machine, enabling researchers to evaluate the effects of either style process on product quality and fouling. This processor has multiple heating and cooling styles and works with optional Touch-screen PLC Control & Data Logging Package, plate heat exchangers, in-line homogenizer, ultra-clean filler, feed/mix tanks, and more. The company also described its Miniature Plant Trial Services.
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Software & Databases
ESHA Research (www.esha.com) described its Genesis® R&D SQL product formulation and labeling software, which automates hundreds of tasks, including product development, nutrition information presentation, labeling, analysis, and more. Features include a database of more than 37,000 foods and food items, including raw materials, additives, and ingredients; automatic nutrient analysis for more than 160 nutritional components; and a variety of label formats.
Formulator Software LLC (www.formulatorus.com) exhibited its software modules that link sales and marketing product development requirements to the development of formulas, sampling of customers, release of new products, specialty product development, and custom formulations. The software provides the speed and collaborative functions of a network Windows™ program while meeting all of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 21 CFR Part 11 Electronic Notebook Compliance requirements. The Formulator Lab-Book software is available as a single-user or network version and can be integrated with process software and accounting software.
Innovadex (www.innovadex.com) described its database and search engine for the food and beverage industry, which provides direct, searchable access to thousands of ingredients and technical documents from more than 325 ingredient suppliers. The company also described its contract services for the food industry.
Safefood 360 (www.safefood360.com) described its recently launched food safety management software called Safefood 360. It is a web-based software application that allows food processors to manage all aspects of food safety in one integrated solution. The software package does flow charting, hazard analysis, risk assessment, CCP determination, and HACCP plan development; handles setup, scheduling, and recording of prerequisite programs; manages systems required for compliance with all the major global food safety standards; provides oneclick reporting; stores and manages all system documents; tracks issues, revisions, and approvals automatically; and immediately updates the software as standards or legislation changes. It is provided as software-as-a-service and therefore requires no installation, licenses, or internal IT support.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (www.thermoscientific.com) described its TraceFinder 1.1 software for laboratories performing routine, highthroughput quantitation by LC-MS. It is compatible with all the company’s quantitative mass spectrometry platforms. It provides one software solution for method development, data acquisition, data processing, and report generation. It includes an extensive choice of preconfigured methods and more than 50 report templates as well as compound data stores for selected reaction monitoring experiments in environmental testing, food safety residue analysis, clinical research, and forensic toxicology applications.
U.S. Pharmacopeia (www.usp.org) exhibited its Food Chemicals Codex, a compendium of standards designed to help ensure the identity, purity and consistency of ingredients sourced from suppliers around the world. The organization also provides the Food Chemicals Codex Forum (http://forum.foodchemicalscodex.org/forum), an online environment where food manufacturers and other interested parties are encouraged to provide feedback on the latest proposed standards before they become effective. The forum goes live for a 90-day comment period twice a year on June 30 and December 31.
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A. Krüss Optronic GmbH (www.kruess.com) described its optical laboratory instruments, including refractometers, polarimeters, density meters, and microscopes. It also described its custom-made LIMS software, Krüss Labsoftware, which allows users to administer an unlimited number of the company’s instruments from their personal computers.
Atago (www.gardco.com) demonstrated its new RX-i series digital refractometers with touch-screen technology. The instruments have a built-in heating module, eliminating the need for a waterbath circulator. They feature four measurement modes: Mode 1, for maximum accuracy, displays the measurement value once the sample reaches the target temperature. Mode 2, for faster results, measures refractive index and temperature at fixed intervals and displays the estimated measurement value at the target temperature. Mode 3 provides an option to turn the heating module off. And Mode S, for emulsion samples, displays the measurement value once a certain level of sample stability is achieved.
Rudolph Research Analytical (www.rudolphresearch.com) exhibited its J457 Refractometer, which features reporting of prism cleanliness, automatic sample loading and cleaning, and detection of improper sample loading. The refractometer has a wide measuring range.
Other Analyses & Services
Campbell Science (www.campbellscience.com) exhibited its high-purity reagents used in food testing, clinical diagnostics, biotechnology, and medical research. The products include derivatization reagents for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, protein modifiers, cross-linking reagents, high-purity detergents, enzymes, and biotinylation reagents.
Compusense Inc. (www.compusense.com) described its sensory testing software. Compusense Five software lets users run sensory tests to networked computers and analyze responses, create reports, or export data for more analysis. Compusense at-hand is a platform for online sensory and consumer testing. Users can create tests and collaborate on projects through a web browser, and respondents can complete tests on any web-capable device. The company also offers consumer and descriptive research services.
CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group LLC (www.crcpress.com), exhibited its new and best-selling publications in food science and nutrition and provided samples of its food science and nutrition journals. It also described its online reference libraries FOODnetBASE and NUTRITIONnetBASE.
Crystal Chem Inc. (www.crystalchem.com) exhibited its new Lateral Flow Kits, qualitative assays for the qualitative determination of food allergens such as milk, egg, wheat, and buckwheat proteins in both raw and processed foods. The kits have a sensitivity of as low as 5 ppm and are quick and easy to use. They complement the company’s line of food allergen ELISA kits that utilize a novel extraction method to improve detection in processed and cooked food. The company also introduced its ELISA kits for the detection of vitamins A and D in fluid milk. These kits significantly decrease the time of vitamin extraction while using less than 1% of the solvents needed for HPLC.
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GSQA (www.gsqa.com) discussed the Food Safety Modernization Act and how GSQA can help food manufacturers comply with it. The company not only provides the traceability data to prevent a product recall but also helps improve production yield by understanding how material variability affects the manufacturer’s processes. GSQA’s automated quality portal simplifies quality and compliance activities with customers, suppliers, co-manufacturers, and internal production facilities. It collects information electronically from suppliers, immediately validates it against specifications, manages supplier compliance tracking, and provides traceability. Realtime analysis and alerts provide the awareness needed to reduce plant disruptions, improve yields, and reduce manufacturing variability.
Hygiena (www.hygiena.net) exhibited its Micro-Snap rapid test for detection and enumeration of specific bacteria. The test uses a novel bioluminogenic test reaction that generates light when enzymes that are characteristic of specific bacteria react with specialized substrates to produce light. The light-generating signal is then quantified in a sensitive, handheld luminometer. Results are available in 1 hr–7 hr, depending on required level of detection. The company also exhibited its EnSure Multiple Quality Test System that uses one instrument platform to collect, analyze, and report data from multiple quality indicators, serving as a simple, flexible, and accurate quality monitoring system for numerous industrial applications.
InstantLabs Medical Diagnostics Corp. (www.instantlabs.com) described its Hunter® Accelerated Polymerase Chain Reaction (A-PCR) device, which is said to significantly reduce the time, effort, and resources required for state-of-the-art testing of foods for microorganisms. It is controlled by a touch screen, eliminating the need for an external computer, keyboard, and mouse, and is capable of wired and wireless communication with an integrated barcode reader and fully functional software. All the user needs to do is add the prepared sample to the PCR tube, which reconstitutes the chemistry and directly associates the vial to the proper reaction well. The QuickGene-810 offers fully automated sample preparation, and the QuickGene-Mini80 offers semi-automated sample preparation.
Medallion Laboratories (www.medallionlabs.com) announced the launch of its Dietary Fiber, Total, Soluble and Insoluble Codex Definition Assay, which measures total dietary fiber as well as soluble and insoluble fiber portions, including resistant starch and nondigestible oligosaccharides as defined by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The company also provides melamine and cyanuric acid testing, expanded pesticides testing for more than 275 compounds, allergen and mycotoxin screening, and basic microbiological testing. During the Annual Meeting Scientific Program, company representatives discussed use of high-resolution mass spectrometry for non-targeted screening of food ingredients and measurement of antioxidants in food.
Metrohm (www.metrohmusa.com) demonstrated its 859 Titrotherm for sodium analysis in food. The instrument is said to be faster and more accurate than standard coulometric titrations. Thermometric titration is a straightforward, significantly less expensive, and fully automated alternative to common direct testing methods for determination of sodium in food such as atomic absorption spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy. The instrument utilizes the rate of change in temperature of the titration solution to detect the endpoint in 2 min. The company also exhibited its Rancimat® models 743 and 873 for oxidative stability testing.
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Northland Laboratories (www.northlandlabs.com) described its services, which include chemistry and microbiological testing, shelf life testing, nutrition labeling, sensory evaluation, and others that provide the analytical support manufacturers need to meet their quality assurance and research and development requirements.
Pro-Scientific (www.proscientific.com) exhibited its new multi-sample homogenizing system, the DPS-20 Dual Processing System, for sample preparation. It combines full automation of mechanical and ultrasonic homogenizing methods in a closed compact and timesaving unit. It allows the use of each homogenizing method dependently or independently of each other within a programmable or manual mode. The DPS-20 merges the advantages of both mechanical and ultrasonic homogenizing, which leads to a faster and more efficient sample breakdown with minimal or no heat introduced. It can process up to 20 samples in one run.
Silliker Inc. (www.silliker.com) discussed its food testing and consulting services for the food industry. The international network of food testing and consulting laboratories helps food manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers assess product safety and nutrition, ensure quality, guard against contamination and spoilage, verify products and processes, and provide educational programs. Silliker is a business unit of the newly created Merieux NutriSciences Corp., which integrates a medical vision and health perspective into its scientific activities and elevates nutrition to priority status. Other business units include Biofortis, a contract research organization dedicated to innovation in nutrition, and Bioagri, a leading research lab in Latin America for environmental, pharmaceutical, and chemical analyses and food technology.
Teclis (www.teclis.fr) exhibited its FoamScan instrument, which can be used to determine foam stability in beverages, ice cream mix, and toppings. Size distribution of the bubbles in foam can also be determined with the Cell Size Analysis accessory. FoamScan produces foam (by sparging with a gas or stirring) and records foam collapse rate, liquid drainage time, and foam density. The Tracker instrument can be used to study and optimize emulsion and foam stabilizer formulations containing ingredients such as proteins, gums, starches, and phospholipids. This instrument measures surface tension, interfacial tension, surface elasticity, and surface viscosity versus time. Elasticity of adsorbed molecular layers helps predict foam and emulsion stability. The company also introduced its FoamView, dedicated to foam quality control of sparkling beverages, such as soft drinks and champagne, and foamgenerating beverages, such as cappuccino and beer. The company also announced that it will present foam/cell size analysis and surface tension training in September 2011 in Atlanta, Ga. The training will include such topics as emulsion structure, protein adsorption, foam stability, surfactants, and instruments.
Velp Scientifica (www.velp.com) exhibited its new automated Kjeldahl digesters. Once set up, the operator can just press the start button and walk away. All regular functions are fully automated, including lowering the test tubes into the heating block, monitoring the operation, storing run data, lifting the tubes to expedite cooling, and separating the suction manifold from the tube rack, enabling the rack to be slid out and replaced by another to start the next run. The DKL series digesters feature a 54-program library, allowing users to select an application and start work immediately. Unlike conventional distillation units with a steam generator that requires maintenance, the UDK series has a patented steam generator that is safe, reliable, and maintenance-free. The company also exhibited its automated Dumas nitrogen analyzer, the NDA 701 Nitrogen/Protein Analyzer, with simplified sample preparation. Total nitrogen content is measured by a thermal conductivity detector. The DumaSoft™ software presents the program parameters, run conditions, and results on a single screen.
Neil H. Mermelstein, a Fellow of IFT, is Editor Emeritus of Food Technology magazine ([email protected]).