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This procedure is outlined for snack foods that may or may not be ground in the lab for analysis or powder and bulk solid or similar applications. Double-Blind Samples are recommended for calibration and validation. This allows the sensitivity or span (linear regression slope) to be accurately determined in the laboratory to speed up the calibration of on-line transmitter when it’s difficult to create a range of process moisture samples on-line.
Step 1: Collect sufficient product for about four or five samples of 200 grams each.
Step 2: Measure 100 grams +/- 2 grams and place into a sealed Bag or container.
This will be sample 1.
Step 3: Measure 100 grams and spray about 2 grams of water on the sample. Mix
the sample and place into a sealed bag or container. This will be sample 2.
Step 4: Measure 100 grams and spray about 4 grams of water on the sample. Mix
the sample and place into a sealed bag or container. This will be sample 3.
Step 5: Measure 100 grams and place in an oven with a temperature of 100 degrees C.
Leave this sample in the oven for 10 minutes*. Remove from the oven and
Place into a sealed Bag or Container. This will be Sample 4.
Note: If a fifth sample is used repeat Step 5, but keep in oven for 20 minutes*.
Step 6: Leave these samples in the Sealed Bag or Container for at least four hours to equlibrate.
Step 7: Take Sample 1 and place under the MCT. Record the moisture measurement.
Step 8: Do the Normal Lab analysis for this sample. A Confection Oven or
Vacuum Oven is recommended.
Step 9: Repeat Steps 7 and 8 for the remaining samples. When all the samples are
Analyzed, we can begin the MCT Calibration Routine. This can either be performed
via the MCT Operator Interface panel or by using the PSC Viewer Suite software. Entering the Lab vs. MCT Near Infrared Transmitter Data allows for a linear regression to be performed and the new Span/Sensitivity (Linear Regression Slope) and Zero/Offset (Linear Regression Y- Intercept) to automatically be generated for correct calibration.
Step 10: Confirm calibration by collecting sample on-line within target set point values and only make a zero or offset adjustment based on double-blind lab sample. Congratulations!
* Theseare variable.
Some products may need more or less water. Some products may take more or less time. Please contact PSC to discuss any questions or to request our assistance.
Samples should be collected and immediately taken to the laboratory or packaged for shipment to an outside lab in a sealed moisture barrier container or bag. If sending samples to an outside lab an additional moisture barrier tape should be applied around container lid. If samples are delivered to an in-house lab the procedure must outline for lab personnel the time to grind or process sample prior to measurement.
Calibration samples should be done individually meaning that sample one is ground, weighed, placed in oven for specified time interval at specified temperature for that product and weighed again for moisture determination. At that point the next sample is processed. Grinding all samples initially introduces an opportunity for increased variation while they await analysis unless all samples can be placed in the same oven immediately.
Consistency is the key to this process. If the first shift collects samples and the lab analyzes these samples when received, results are good. If another shift or operator collects the samples in a different manner or lets them sit for a while before bringing to the lab, or the lab lets samples accumulate before processing, variations can occur. Consistency is important for successful calibration.
Alternatively, samples can be created in the lab and allowed to equilibrate. These samples can be used for calibration. A final double- blind target set point sample should be analyzed and averaged to determine any offset (zero) adjustment on-line.
Other parameters such as fat and oil are subject to stratification and a well-mixed double-blind sample analysis is even more important for these constituents during calibration.
Process Sensors is seeking to expand representation and service of our product line in some parts of Central and South America. Our areas of interest are outlined below. Process Sensors offers a complete line of Near IR and RF gauges for industrial manufacturers who need to measure moisture, oil/fat, additives, Cross Direction Web Profiles and other systems. Systems are for process, at-line and lab applications.
Costa Rica y Nicaragua: We are interested in representation, preferably with an office in centrally located San Jose, Costa Rica.
Panama: We seek representation with a company that has demonstrated success in process industries.
Ecuador: We seek representation with an industrial manufacturer’s rep, preferably based in Quito.
Venezuela: We seek representation for applications that have sufficient Return on Investment to attract consideration for both domestic and multi-national companies seeking to grow market share.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photometers are both well suited and established for the measurement of moisture, oil/fat and other easy to identify applications. Photometers typically use targeted measure wavelengths where the parameter absorbs such as 1.94 microns for water and 1.72 microns for oil. The Photometer then compares the response with non-absorbing wavelengths. Sugar sprays can be measured based on the water carrier and flavorings based on the oil. Photometers are typically the best choice for these types of applications.
Spectrophotometers measure the full spectrum and then use slices of that spectrum, not the whole spectrum, to generate factors via chemometrics or mathematical modeling such as PCR, PLS, Neural Networks and other treatments. When the parameters being measured have overlapping absorption bonds such as different types of alcohols or saturated and unsaturated fats, they can discriminate between the constituents. Also, for more difficult applications such as protein, salt, sugar, ash etc. spectrophotometers have advantages over photometers.
Calibrations for Photometers typically need 3 to 7 samples throughout the range of interest. Calibrations for Spectrophotometers typically need 10 to 15 samples per modeling factor and can require as many as 200 or more samples to calibrate.
Photometers are significantly less expensive, easier to calibrate and easier for unskilled workers to operate. If a Photometer meets your measurement needs, it’s a better choice for on-line, at-line and lab measurements.