Neil Mermelstein

Neil H. Mermelstein

Chemical Analysis
Ankom Technology
( described its TDF Dietary Fiber Analyzer, which automates AOAC 991.43/AACC 32.07.01 for determination of total dietary fiber (TDF) as well as soluble dietary fiber (SDF) and insoluble dietary fiber (IDF) individually. The instrument automates the addition of chemical solutions, enzymes, and rinses and controls the temperatures and agitation levels throughout the process, eliminating the need for multiple water baths and freeing up counter space. Use of advanced filter bag technology increases the filtering surface area, which reduces the time needed to filter samples and eliminates the use of vacuum flasks and crucibles. The instrument also allows the user to bypass capturing the IDF fraction and just capture TDF. The final filtrate can be captured for further testing. The unit can run 18 samples per day.

Elementar Americas Inc. ( introduced its vario MAX cube nitrogen/protein analyzer, which features reusable 5-mL stainless-steel crucibles and an integrated 90-position automatic sampler with automatic ash removal and can routinely handle 1-g and larger sample sizes. The analyzer uses less helium than previous versions and provides faster analysis. The company also provided a brochure covering the full line of CHNOS analyzers, including the rapid N cube analyzer and the Isoprime analyzer for isotopic analysis of adulteration.

Foss North America ( exhibited its NIRSDS2500 near-infrared (NIR) analyzer, which provides high accuracy across a broad wavelength range of 400 nm–2,500 nm for analysis of dairy powder, flour, and feed. Designed for use in the laboratory or at the production line, the analyzer is a  practical quality control tool ideal for routine production control and monitoring of final product quality.

Medallion Laboratories (, a division of General Mills, announced improvements in its nutritional elemental and heavy trace-metal testing program. The company offers two new metals packages in addition to its current Metals I and Metals II screens. The Trace Nutrient Metals Screen detects barium, boron, chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, and selenium, and the Heavy Metals Package detects antimony, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. The company will expand its Pesticides offering to include an Organic screen in addition to its domestic basic and its international expanded screens. The company has also upgraded its instrumentation to an ICP-MS system, which provides results in parts per billion rather than parts per million. View a video on Medallion Labs at

Microbiology & Sanitation
CreAgri Inc.
( described its Hidrox®, a natural and organic antimicrobial formulation of olive oil polyphenols that can be incorporated into a range of products. The proprietary formulation of hydroxytyrosol derived from the juice of organic olives has been shown to inactivate Staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcal enterotoxin A and Salmonella Newport. It has been self-certified as GRAS, and extensive animal studies have revealed its strong safety profile.

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Del Ozone Food Safety Solutions ( exhibited its new line of gaseous and aqueous ozone disinfection systems. Ozone can act as an antimicrobial spray on food and simultaneously sanitize surfaces such as conveyor belts. The use of gaseous ozone as an antimicrobial disinfectant in cold-storage and controlled-atmosphere facilities kills bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens without leaving a chemical residue. The company also described its Safe Sustainable Sanitation™ program, which helps food processors provide safer food products, using sustainable production practices.

Dynalon Labware Corp. ( exhibited its BIO II biological safety cabinets for use with hazardous particulates and microorganisms. The cabinets first sweep the work space by class 100 (ISO 5) laminar flow, then the air flow is completely recycled through the perforated grills around the work surface while air streaming in front of the work surface protects the operator, and then about 30% of the air flow is passed through a second HEPA filter. The company also exhibited its Baritainer® jerry cans and Biobin® waste-disposal containers for microbiology loops and pipets.

Ecolab Inc. ( introduced removable antimicrobial coatings designed to control microorganisms on non-food contact surfaces. The ready-to-use RAC 100™ (clear) and RAC 100 BL (blue) coatings can be applied via spray, roller, or brush to sanitize environmental surfaces in food, dairy, and beverage processing facilities. The coatings can be removed by rinsing the surface with water or by peeling from the surface. The coatings have been shown to provide a 99.9% or three-log reduction of pathogens such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enteric, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus, and to inhibit mold growth, on nonfood contact surfaces for up to 30 days on non-porous surfaces and up to 14 days on porous surfaces.

Hettich Instruments LP ( exhibited its Incubot 770 automated Petri dish incubation platform, which can be used alone or integrated into an existing track system. Samples can be processed, incubated, and transported for imaging and analysis automatically. In addition, a sample can be released from the Incubot and transported within the laboratory, providing a true track-and-trace functionality for a complete audit trail. An individual Petri dish can be incubated and removed singly without having to remove a stack of dishes and search for the required dish. The company also exhibited its Hettich Vortex Vacuum Concentrator, which is said to reduce traditional centrifugal sample concentration times by nearly 50%, and its Rotanta 460 RSC robotic automated centrifuge for use in pre-analytical automation systems.

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Hill Brush Inc. ( exhibited its Salmon Hygiene Technology line of cleaning and sanitation tools for the food industry. The tools feature ergonomic design and color coding for easy segregation and are manufactured with HACCP compliance in mind. An extensive array of brushes is available, including hand brushes, bench brushes, scrubs, nail brushes, tank brushes, glazing brushes, stainless-steel wire brushes, brooms, and more. The brushes in the Ultimate-Resin-Set are made with the Dual Retention System (DRS), which anchors each tuft into the brush back and seals the face of the brush, preventing not only the accumulation of dirt and moisture in the tuft holes but also the release of tuft fibers into the food or beverage environment. The Anti-Microbial Resin-Set DRS brushes are made with silver-ion technology to prevent more than 99% of bacterial contamination and inhibit mold and mildew growth. A third category is the Metal Detectable and Antistatic line, in which the colored portion of each product is detectable by metal detection machines.

Kemin Food Technologies ( introduced its BactoCease™ liquid antimicrobial solution designed to protect ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products from Listeria monocytogenes. The propionic acid-based antimicrobial has been shown to extend product shelf life more consistently than lactates. It is applied at a lower application rate (which means less ingredient cost per pound of meat produced), has no negative impact on the flavor of RTE meat and poultry products, and contributes to a lower level of sodium in the finished product. The company has petitioned the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to amend 9 CFR 424.21(c) to list liquid sodium propionate as an acceptable antimicrobial agent for use in RTE meat and poultry products.

Mocon Inc. ( demonstrated its GreenLight® 900 Series fully automated aerobic plate count testing system. It tests for aerobic bacterial load 10 times faster than traditional agar or film plate methods, reduces sample preparation costs, and provides quantitative results for meats, produce, and other foods within hours. Using an integrated phosphorescent oxygen-sensitive probe, the system monitors microbial oxygen consumption. Samples are simply added to test vials and measured kinetically to automatically determine bacterial load. Easy-to-use software removes the subjectivity associated with traditional plate counting.

Q Laboratories ( announced the opening of its new microbiology research and development facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 5,000-sq-ft, state-ofthe-art R&D laboratory is capable of performing large-scale validation projects. The laboratory also offers AOAC Official Methods of Analysis and Performance Tested Methods studies, microbiological challenge studies, and sanitizer and disinfectant studies. The facility is the only North American laboratory certified as a MicroVal Expert Laboratory.

Reyco Systems (, in conjunction with Steril-Aire™, introduced a new ultraviolet light technology to decontaminate incoming and recirculating airstreams, food products, and equipment surfaces in food processing facilities. Steril-Aire manufactures UVC Emitters™, which are designed to operate in fast cold-air streams to kill viruses, bacteria, molds, fungi, and yeasts by disrupting DNA/RNA structure. The UVC light emissions can destroy Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Listeria, and other microbes on product surfaces prior to packaging. Reyco builds custom systems and can retrofit UVC grids into existing systems.

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Miniaturized Systems
Armfield Ltd.
( introduced its FT94LT Mini Pilot System that meets food and beverage R&D needs to prepare increasingly larger volumes of sample product. The system consists of a three-stage tubular UHT heat exchanger, with controls and instrumentation, mounted on a stainless-steel table with the feed pump, heating and cooling services, and the electrical cabinet mounted below it. The system can provide throughputs of 30 to more than 100 L/hr and process temperatures up to 150°C and is capable of aseptic operation.

OMVE Laboratory & Pilot Equipment ( exhibited its HT320 Pilot HTST/UHT System based on modules that can be configured to accurately and reproducibly simulate industrial heating processes, including pasteurization and sterilization. The system is supplied with a nominal capacity of 20, 50, 100, or 200 L/hr at 150°C and is available with tubular, plate, and steam-injection heating.

Silverson Machines Inc. ( introduced its AX5 Pilot Scale Mixer, which is suitable for small-scale production or scaling up. It features a rise-and-fall bench stand and touch pad operation with infinitely variable speed control, tachometer, ammeter, and programmable timer. The AX series models have a capacity of up to 50 L.

Moisture Determination
Arizona Instrument LLC ( exhibited its Computrac® Max® 4000XL Moisture/Solids Analyzer, which provides quick, accurate results. It improves the ability to adjust or monitor processes while minimizing waste, energy requirements, and labor. It features an optional Temperature Calibration Interface module, which enables the user to verify that the heater is calibrated to NIST standards.

Decagon Devices Inc. ( demonstrated its AquaLab Vapor Sorption Analyzer, which generates both dynamic and static isotherms to help food scientists understand how moisture content and changes in temperature and humidity affect a product’s shelf life. Isotherm generation technology tracks changes in the amount of moisture in a product as the water activity changes. The analyzer combines the Dynamic Dewpoint Isotherm (DDI) method and equilibrium methods in a single instrument. It provides hundreds of data points, showing details that no isotherm generator has shown before, such as glass transition. It also provides greater resolution for viewing reactions such as crystallization.

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CEM Corp. ( introduced a new fat and moisture analyzer specifically designed for meat and meat products. Meat Trac™ is said to offer a more accurate, cost-effective alternative to NIR analyzers. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and a rapid conditioning protocol, it determines fat and moisture content of meat and meat products in less than 2 min; traditional NMR systems typically require a 20-min preheating step before fat analysis. The company also exhibited its similar FastTrac™ NMR system, which measures moisture and fat content of dry products, such as dairy powders, snack foods, and pet food.

Sensory Analysis
Alpha MOS
( described the benefits and uses of its electronic sensing instruments. The IRIS Electronic Eye provides assessment of palatability, shelf life monitoring, competition benchmarking, and product quality control based on visual appearance. The Heracles Flash GC Electronic Nose provides fast, sensitive analysis of odors and highly volatile compounds. The Astree Electronic Tongue ranks products based on taste attributes. During the scientific program, company representatives presented papers on use of the electronic nose to assess cacao bean quality, characterize oil shelf life, reverse engineer a spice blend, and control odor quality of polyethylene pellets.

Compusense Inc. ( described its Compusense at-hand web-based platform, which enables sensory and consumer tests on any device with a web browser, making it easy to deploy intuitive and engaging questionnaires to quickly get results; its Compusense five datacollection and analysis application; and its consumer and trained panels for food and beverage companies.

VeriVide Ltd. ( exhibited its DigiEye System, a noncontact system that digitally captures and measures texture, color, and appearance of products as seen by the consumer and provides quantifiable, consistent visual assessment against an agreed-upon visual standard. The system can measure individual or multiple products with irregular shapes and sheen and multicolored objects without sample destruction and without aperture restrictions. Images are captured in a totally enclosed cube, eliminating the effect of ambient light on color measurement.

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Bühler AG ( described the capabilities of its new Bühler Food Innovation Center in Plymouth, Minn., and available to food companies for extruded-product or process trials. The food-grade facility features the company’s Sanimix batch mixer, Polytherm™ preconditioner, Polytwin™ twin-screw extruder, AeroDry™ sanitary dryer, and other equipment. The center was designed with sanitary standards and process flexibility in mind, making it ideally suited to various product types, including direct expanded products, co-extruded products, breadings, and others. The company will present an extrusion workshop at the center November 5–8, 2012.

Kansas State University’s
Division of Continuing Education ( described its onsite and distance undergraduate and graduate degree programs in food science. Among K-State’s many offerings are courses in food trade, agricultural health and business, and a graduate certificate in food safety and defense.

National Food Lab LLC ( described its approaches to product design, food safety, and food quality and its perspectives on challenges faced by the food industry. Services offered include product innovation, process validations, high-pressure processing, and risk assessment. The laboratory provides product development guidance by assessing the overall liking or acceptability of a product against a designated benchmark and recommending reformulation direction or optimization opportunities. Its Rapid Design Process (RDP) quickly uncovers consumer needs and creates concept/product bundles that best fulfill those needs at a very early stage of development. The result is consumer-guided preliminary concepts, products, and package elements ready for further evaluation and testing months earlier than the traditional innovation timeline.

Northland Laboratories ( offered a portfolio of food testing and consulting services, including method validation, nutrition-label generation and claim verification, contaminant monitoring, ingredient monitoring, and quality assessment as well as chemical and microbiological testing, shelf life and challenge studies, nutrition labeling, sensory research, consulting, auditing, investigations, and other services.

RQA Inc. ( described its product development and crisis management services. Its Product Dynamics division provides product performance evaluation, product and concept development, least-cost formula control, competitive benchmarking, specification writing and review, shelf impact studies, processing validation studies, and sensory research. The RQA Food Forensics™ LLC, a strategic alliance between RQA Inc. and Microtrace LLC, offers crisis management services, including recall plan development and optimization, recall simulation exercises, recall assessment, crisis management consulting, product liability claim defense, and Consumer Complaint Clearinghouse™, which provides handling, documentation, assessment, and storage of complaint samples.

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ESHA Research Inc. ( described its Genesis R&D Product Development and Labeling software, at the core of which is a database of more than 46,000 food items, including raw foods and processing items such as gums, bases, preparations, and colors. Up to 160 nutrients and nutrient factors are provided for each item. With one click, users can generate a Nutrition Facts label with ingredient and allergen statements as well as other label formats.

Formulator Software LLC ( announced the release of Upgrade 5.3.5 to its FormulatorTM software. The upgrade extends the Nutritional Label Designer to full compliance with specifications for United States and Canadian nutritional and supplement label templates. It adds dozens of new features and functions for recipe development, costing, nutritional calculations, project management, and sample management. The company also described ColorTec color instruments and software.

Safefood 360 ( described the Safefood 360 food safety management software that helps companies manage all aspects of food safety. The software is compatible with SQF, FSSC 22000, and HACCP certifications and eliminates the need for paper files. The application is web-based, so no installation is required, and data backup is automatic. Among the features are dashboards that show the status of the food safety management system, flow charting, hazard analysis, risk assessment, critical control point determination, and HACCP plan development, available in a single module. The software also stores and manages all of the system documents and automatically tracks revisions and approvals.

StellarNet ( described its ChemWiz Analyzer Development Kit, which is designed to facilitate the development of complex custom analyzers. This software toolkit, when combined with StellarNet spectrometer instrumentation and SpectraWiz operating software, enables rapid development of complex analyzers needed to provide custom measurement solutions for many applications. Real-time spectral data is used as input to measure concentrations of up to six components such as moisture, fat, protein, alcohols, acids, or other chemicals, such as pesticides. A model builder is used to process spectra from a set of known component concentrations. A run-time engine performs the analysis in real-time with little or no sample preparation. Each analyzer system can be tailored with sampling accessories to measure liquids, solids, and powders.

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Texture & Rheology
Anton Paar USA ( described its MCR Modular Compact Rheometer series, which allows any type or combination of rheological tests, in both rotational and oscillatory modes, with a wide range of temperature devices and application-specific accessories. The rheometers feature the Piezo Axial Actuator, which ensures absolute control at any time during rheological tests.

Brookfield Engineering
Laboratories Inc. ( exhibited its instruments for measuring viscosity, texture, and flow. The DV-III Ultra Rheometer for measuring viscosity and yield stress features application software and mathematical models for data analysis. The DV-I Prime Viscometer offers continuous sensing and data display and a direct-access timed mode and can be ordered with RTD temperature sensing. The Noodle Tensile Fixture for the CT3 Texture Analyzer is designed to test the extensibility and tensile breaking strength of noodles, pasta, and similar food items. The R/S Plus Rheometer provides controlled rate/stress measurement for direct measurement of viscosity, yield stress, thixotropic response, creep, and other flow properties. It features temperatures up to 180°C and speeds up to 1,000 rpm and provides data for modulus and static yield stress as well as information for creep testing. The PTF Powder Flow Tester features updated automated software that provides quick and easy analysis of powder flow behavior in processing equipment. The company also announced the availability of its new texture website,

Cole Parmer ( exhibited its Cole-Parmer® Rotational Viscometer Series, which features 316 stainless-steel spindles and models that can be used to determine the dynamic viscosity of sauces, juices, syrups, and other products. An over/under alarm sounds when the sample is too high or low for the spindle selected. All models feature push-button control with easy-to-use menu system, motor self-test, user calibration to a known standard, and universal power supply.

C.W. Brabender Instruments ( exhibited its TS-5000Z Taste Sensing System, which imitates the patterns of the human tongue by converting the taste of foods and beverages into numerical data. The instrument has sensors that consist of an artificial lipid membrane, similar to that of the human tongue, which causes electrostatic or hydrophobic interactions with various taste substances. The difference in potential between the sample liquid and a reference solution represents initial taste (i.e., the taste perceived when food first enters the mouth). After the sensors are lightly washed, the difference in potential represents the aftertaste (i.e., the taste that remains in the mouth after the food has been swallowed). The outputs from the sensors are converted into taste information by multiple regression analysis and principal component analysis. The data can be graphically presented in various types of charts, including radar charts, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional scatter plots, contour charts, bubble charts, transient response graphs, line graphs, and measurement data displays.

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Other Instruments, Equipment, Etc.
Atago USA Inc.
( exhibited its PAN-1 sustained immersion refractometer, which can be positioned in a tank or pan with its prism submerged in a sample. The unit reads continuously, updating every 30 sec, and displays Brix and temperature levels while the sample cooks, mixes, condenses, or chills. The instrument features a touch screen and built-in thermomodule that ensures accuracy while also eliminating the need for a water bath circulator.

Buchi Corp. ( exhibited its instruments for food testing and quality control, including those for NIR spectroscopy, flash chromatography, nitrogen/protein analysis, and spray dryers for food agglomeration and microencapsulation.

Brechbuehler Inc. ( exhibited its Tridion-9, a portable instrument that combines a high-speed, low-thermal-mass gas chromatograph (GC) with a miniaturized toroidal ion trap mass spectrometer (TMS) to provide a fast, reliable, and easy analyses. The small-diameter capillary GC provides rapid, high-resolution separation of chemical analytes while the TMS provides sensitive and selective mass-based detection of a wide array of chemicals. The handheld instrument is ready for analysis in 3 min with run-to-run cycle times of 5 min or less per sample.

Crystal Chem Inc. ( exhibited its food allergen kits with an improved procedure for ease of use. The kits use an innovative new extraction solution to achieve a high recovery rate of the target protein in both processed and unprocessed food. The ELISA kits include buckwheat, gluten (gliadin), beta-lactoglobulin, peanut, casein, and egg, and the lateral flow kits include egg (ovalbumin), beta-lactoglobulin, and gluten (gliadin).

Industrial Test Systems Inc. ( exhibited its eXact® Micro 20 dual-wavelength photometer for process water quality testing. It features a narrow-band wavelength filter (525 nm and 638 nm) and tests more than 30 water quality parameters. It self-calibrates and automatically selects the optimal wavelength for each test. All tests use the EZ-3Reagent Delivery Method, in which an eXact Strip is dipped into the water sample for 20 sec to liberate reagents and the results are read at the push of a button.

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InstantLabs ( demonstrated its Hunter RT-PCR instrument, a small, portable, networked machine that provides the accuracy of real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis at points of need, such as manufacturing facilities, ports of entry, and distribution and repackaging companies, reducing reliance on central laboratories for sample analysis. The instrument consists of an integrated reader/controller, disposable assay cartridges, thermocycler, and software; is compact, lightweight, and portable; and requires only one day of general training. It features an intuitive touchscreen and color- and bar-coded chemistry-ready cartridges.

Lipmen Co. Ltd. ( displayed its Everfresh Wine Saver, which uses a disposable cartridge containing an oxygen absorbant that eliminates oxygen inside wine bottles, preserving the flavor of the wine. The absorbant is inserted into the cartridge, which is then inserted into the neck of the wine bottle.

Mettler Toledo ( introduced its SevenCompact™ line of benchtop meters, including the SevenCompact pH/Ion S220 meter for measurement of pH, ion concentration, and oxidation reduction potential and the SevenCompact Conductivity S230 meter for measurement of conductivity and total dissolved solids. The meters feature Intelligent Sensor Management. The company also introduced its DP90 Dropping Point System for Edible Oils for determining dropping point at sub-ambient temperature. The system consists of a control unit and a separate measuring cell that can be placed into a refrigerator or freezer. A third introduction was the company’s Excellence Moisture Analyzers, which feature an innovative hanging weighing pan and a One Click Moisture™graphical user interface that provides real-time drying curves and control charts.

Paul N. Gardner Co. Inc. ( displayed its new line of FC-i counting scales, which feature internal resolution, four-line display for easy operator viewing, high-performance counting, and 500 sets of memory with alphanumeric product names and codes.

Process Sensors ( exhibited its MCT660 Bench Top NIR Tester for use for a wide range of measurements in the plant or quality control lab. The instrument provides precise measurements of moisture, oils, resins, and other constituents in virtually all types of powders, flakes, and leaves. Examples include moisture and oil in cookies, crackers, cereals, and baked and fried snacks. Software guides users through calibration and sample testing. Samples are placed in the sample dish, and a touch of the button initiates the test. In less than 10 sec, the constituent measurements are displayed and the unit becomes ready for additional samples.

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Rudolph Research Analytical ( announced the release of the third generation of its DDM2911 Automatic Density Meter. The meter provides direct measurement of °Brix, % solids, and other measurements in alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and uses its apparent density function for monitoring of proper filling volume. The meter’s VideoView™ with 10x magnification provides on-screen viewing of difficult-to-detect air bubbles in samples.

Waters Corp. ( exhibited its food testing instruments and systems, including sample preparation, chromatography, mass spectrometry, and data management software.


Neil H. Mermelstein, a Fellow of IFT, is Editor Emeritus of Food Technology magazine
([email protected]).



About the Author

IFT Fellow
Editor Emeritus of Food Technology
[email protected]
Neil Mermelstein