The CiderLab Plus is a test for cider and perry that is able to determine elements in a few minutes and without sample pre-treatment.
The method involves adding the sample volume to the pre-vialed reagent, following the displayed instructions and waiting for the system to automatically calculate, display and print the results.
QCL supplies food, beverage and dairy laboratory scientists in the UK by sourcing equipment from around the world and distributing rapid diagnostic testing.
Jamie Duncan, head of product management, told FoodQualityNews.com it is simple to work and can be used during harvest and processing.
“We get a lot of customer feedback and we try and find out what the problems are, if two or three people ask for the same test it is a need for industry so we go out and find and source it,” he said.
“The issue has been scale, medium sized producers need analysers with a broad spectrum of tests as they do not have a whole lab set-up.
“With investment you have the total set of lab tests in one instrument and don’t need a lot of different equipment.”
The system and its components can be used in environments with a temperature ranging from 15°C to 35°C.
The CiderLab Plus is able to determine additional parameters to the CiderLab, such as organic and inorganic nitrogen, glycerol, glucose fructose and total polyphenol index (TPI).
Parameters on both devices include acetic and L-Malic acid, fermentable sugars and free and total sulphur dioxide.
CiderLab uses low-toxicity reagents in pre-filled test cuvettes that require no special disposal procedure.
It is also possible to run tests on several samples at a time on the pre-calibrated device.
The CiderLab Plus, which is manufactured in Italy, can be used during all the cider processing phases.
Duncan said the test can be used for parameters before harvest to see if an apple is ready or during production to monitor acidity and sugar changes.
“It can read one sample at a time but you can prepare 14 samples and the longest one is about three minutes depending on what you are testing,” he said.
“pH acidity is almost instant as you get a colour change in the re-agent and other tests vary depending on the reaction time.”