AOTF-NIR

Our Brimrose AOTF NIR Instrument is going to the Moon to find water!

 
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moon

Brimrose AO technology has been selected number one over all other AO technology worldwide!

The Brimrose spectrometer will be a part of the NASA program known as the Near Infrared Volatile Spectrometer Instrument, or NIRVSS. Our AOTF NIR Spectrometer is going to the Moon to determine if there is water there!

We are so proud of our people!

Ronald G Rosemeier, PhD
Pres & CEO
Brimrose Corp of America
Brimrose Technology Corp
BrimRAD Corp
19 Loveton Cir
Hunt Valley, MD  21152
USA  

410 808 0492  cell
410 472 7070  office

www.brimrose.com
www.brimrosetechnology.com
www.brimrad.com

Ronald G Rosemeier, PhD
 

“What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Moisture Analysis in Food Becomes an Opportunity for Our Spectrometers

A beautiful thing about working with spectrometers is that you don’t always know where the next application is going to come from. These are great instruments that allow us to see and understand materials well beyond what we otherwise would be capable of knowing.

Several years ago, we were contacted by someone from a company involved with programmable logic control, or PLC. They explained that a large food-producing company that they were doing business with was having problems maximizing its moisture content in the manufacture of bread bi-products. Food companies these days often have large quality-control units where they do sophisticated food analysis using process analytical technology or PAT.

Why is moisture content important?

Well, moisture is water and water doesn’t cost much compared to other ingredients in bread and bread crumbs. People also don’t like bread that is too dry and brittle. This may seem like a small matter until you multiply croutons or crackers by a million or billion. Then it becomes very important.

The challenge for the food production company was to get close to the maximum amount of moisture allowed by law, without going over it. If you exceed the acceptable moisture content, there are problems with mold.

The spectrometer we used, the Brimrose Luminar 4030, was able to consistently provide moisture content of between 10 percent and 12 percent, which is exactly what the company hoped for.

The result was that they saved $170,000 in the first four months of use. Needless to say, the company was very happy. The result was that they bought our spectrometer (we had originally loaned it to them), and have since bought four more. We are anticipating additional orders.

The Luminar 4030 is perfect for these applications. It is small, compact and rugged and integrates easily into the production environment. It is vortex-cooled with a heat exchanger that easily replaces hot air with cooler air. The 4030 can and normally operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

How does it all work?

The crumbs or other bread bi-product goes through an oven to be baked before they go to the hoppers to be packaged. The trick is to set the oven at the right temperature so the right amount of moisture will be baked out of the crumbs.

Cables connect the Luminar 4030 spectrometer to the PLC unit, which in turn interfaces with the oven. The spectrometer tells the PLC what percentage moisture is coming out in the bread and the PLC unit in turn adjusts the temperature of the oven to the optimum setting. In essence, our spectrometer controls the oven.

Robert Newton of Kerry Corporation is very excited about the capabilities of the process. “We’ve interfaced our first unit via PID loop to thermal bake technologies in an effort to optimize the moisture content of our products,” he says. “Our application is a real-time iterative approach that not only optimizes the desired output, but has eliminated product rejections due to over and under drying. Our pilot application has returned well over six figures in the first eight months of continuous operation. We expect similar returns with the installation and commissioning of four additional units in like processes across the Americas Regions.”

With endorsements like these, I have to believe this market will continue to grow together with the food processing industry.

If you would like to talk more about this application, you can call me at 410-472-7070.

Think Globally: Brimrose AOTF-NIR Spectrometers Demonstrate Olive Oil Production in Israel

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Making excellent spectrometers has been part of the Brimrose heritage dating back to the company’s founding. It is exciting to be part of a product that has been in the middle of so many large industries for so long—and continues to get better.

Beginning in 1997, Brimrose pioneered a special design of its real-time, dual beam, high-speed capability for blend uniformity in cooperation with a major pharmaceutical company.

At about the same time, we demonstrated high speed (> 80 vials per minute) analysis of an anesthetic suspension with Astra Zeneca. As early as 1999, we demonstrated the high speed (>300 vials per minute) moisture determination in moving lyophilized vials, achieving SEP<0.1%. This pioneering work was done in collaboration with Dr. Lars Sukowski from Roche Basel, Switzerland, who published this work in his doctoral dissertation.

We have expanded into numerous applications in the pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural, food, polymer and other industries over the years.

Over the past two years, using the Brimrose Luminar 4030 Analyzer, we worked with olive growers and mills in Israel, in cooperation with a world expert on olive mill optimization to increase the yield of the oil without sacrificing quality. To put the losses due to non-optimal performance in simple terms we can say that for each 10,000 pounds of raw olives processed, about 400 pounds to 1200 pounds of oil are lost in the solid waste. A mill that processes about 10,000,000 pounds per year can increase its revenue by about $140,000 by reducing the lost oil by about 15%.

In today’s world, where revenues from olive oil have dramatically declined due to increased supply from new plantations in Chile, Argentina, Australia, and California, efficiency of mill operation is the key to survival.

The implementation of the Brimrose at-line technology–combined with our speed of analysis and the excellent trending display on the computer screen–has enabled the mills to cut the level of oil in the waste by about half, while maintaining maximum capacity and retaining all of the important qualities of the oil.

Related to this work, a pioneering effort has been going on in Spain, driven by Technilab, our representative there, where a major mill implemented the Brimrose multiplexer technology to monitor several points in the extraction process. This spanned from the crusher, through the malaxer, through the decanter and to the final solid waste. Spectral data from all of these process points is collected in real time and analyzed, providing the mill with real- time feedback as to the efficiency of the process. The result has been that the mill has been able to achieve maximum yields without sacrificing quality.

Realizing that the overall economic viability of olive groves depends not only on improving the yield of the mill and the corresponding revenues, but also on reducing cost and maximizing the oil production in the fruits, we have worked with a leading research institute to develop calibrations for Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium in dried olive leaves. This knowledge is being used to control the fertilization for both timing and quantities. The speed of the NIR analysis allows us to perform such measurements at high frequency and on multiple parts of an orchard. This knowledge results in substantial savings by minimizing the use of fertilizers.

Last, but not least, due to our growing understanding of the relation between irrigation and oil production in the fruit, and because of the increasing cost of irrigation, the need to understand the degree of water stress in leaves led us to develop calibrations for two important parameters. These include the straightforward moisture in the leaves, and Turgor pressure, a measure used by scientists and growers to decide when and how much to irrigate. Turgor pressure measurement is a lengthy, complex and costly operation.

Once again, the speed and immediate availability of the Brimrose technology, which can be taken to the field to analyze leaves on the spot, is opening the door to huge benefits for farmers by reducing wasteful and ill-timed irrigation, while maximizing the oil production within the fruits.