In the laboratory

by Emily Wilson
Share This:

The very latest product to reach the market place is Fluoroscan, just released by Branscan Ltd. It is claimed to be the world’s first system that uses an image analysis system for measuring ash. Soon to be available in both on- and off-line systems, the F500 Off-line system is first on the market.

The system’s intelligent algorithm is based on the Branscan algorithm, which is currently used in systems for measurement of bran and specks.

Fluoroscan is easy to use: the product to be scanned is loaded in to a sample tray which is then place into the viewing area, the system then captures a snapshot of a fixed area. Computer and camera technology are used to analyze the captured image to provide an accurate ash reading.

Fluoroscan offer millers and bakers the ability to read ash measurements accurately and consistently regardless of whether they are using an on-line or off-line instrument. The system can provide the ash value of flour, semolina and feedstock without using a daily calibration method. It can be used in the laboratory or production floor, while still giving the users accurate and consistent results within minutes.

Sifter updated

Satake Corporation UK Division has recently launched the new Series 2000 Laboratory Sifter, as a replacement for the popular laboratory machine manufactured by their predecessors Henry Simon Ltd.

Its principal use is to aid in setting break releases in the mill and as a general purpose laboratory sifter. It has up-to-date electronics, an integral timer and can easily be adjusted to maintain a constant table speed for 50/60 Hz electrical supplies. The fully enclosed design is hygienic and easy to clean.

The Series 2000 Sifter features sieves that are rotated in a planetary motion, rather than shaking or tapping. This replicates the action of full size Plansifters and assists the Process Controller to accurately predict the separation that will be achieved in the mill. The machine has also been redesigned to allow standard square wooden framed sieves or 200mm diameter international standard sieves to be rotated on the same machine. The machine can rotate up to four sieves at once and a wide range of mesh sizes and types are available.

The machine is very easy to operate. A weighed sample of product is placed on the top sieve and the lid replaced. The quick release clamping bar slides into place and holds the sieve stack together. The timer is set and the machine switched on. The operation stops automatically after the desired time. The sieve stack is disassembled and the amount of product remaining on each screen weighed to give the particle size distribution. When used with brass sieves, the sifter meets the requirements of Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA) standards for laboratory sifting, in accordance with FTWG method 0011a.

The Series 2000 Sifter complements Satake Corporation’s wide range of laboratory equipment, which includes flour color graders, small-scale rice processing machines and finished product analyzers.

Moisture control

Chopin has released two new products: a lab grinder and an oven, both of which conform to ISO standards.

The Chopin laboratory grinder BrC20K, rapidly grinds small amounts of product for analyses. It is used mainly to prepare wheat samples for moisture analysis but it can be used for many other applications. The grinding chamber and cover of the BrC20K are made of stainless steel and the tank is water-cooled.

Chopin has also released an oven for the measurement of the moisture content of wheat, semolina and others cereal and cereal products. The EM 10 reference oven has a heavy aluminum shell that provides an excellent distribution of the temperature inside the 10 separate cells, which have individual natural air circulation. The oven has accurate temperature control, with settings between +30°C and +150°C.

Remote Quality Trait Analysis

A completely different approach to quality analysis is offered by Cognis. Their QTATM System is a remote and customizable analytical testing service utilizing Fourier Transform Near-Infrared (FT-NIR) technology.

QTA was developed to facilitate rapid, accurate, reliable, on-site analysis of a variety of different traits and material characteristics on solids and liquids, such as seeds, meal, flour, and oil; at the origin, consolidation, distribution, processing, or end-use site – without the need for skilled analytical personnel, and without significant site-to-site, instrument-to-instrument, or day-to-day variations. As such, QTA combines the advanced analytical capabilities of an outside lab with the speed and ease of use of traditional remote analytical equipment, while allowing the user to analyze a host of properties and materials with one piece of equipment, rather than a specialized piece of equipment for each test.

The QTA team builds customized applications to meet customer’s analysis requirements. The system is designed in such a way that all users use the same calibration located on the QTA central processor. This approach ensures that the calibrations maintain their accuracy over time because they compensate for variation from one instrument to another and for variation within an instrument over time. This means that the system does not require frequent recalibration and/or a standardization program. The user just analyzes samples because all data processing, monitoring and maintenance is performed centrally by the QTA Team.

QTA’s rapid results facilitate immediate decision making regarding product deliveries, storage, and shipments. Additionally, QTA analysis data, along with sample identification and tracking information input by the customer, is stored in a secure central database, so that the information can be transferred, used, and leveraged throughout the organization.