Camlab Limited

How can I measure the pH of food?

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Courtesy of Camlab Limited

Measuring pH in food is a useful indicator of consistency over batches for quality control but can also be used to monitor foods where the pH changes over time – for example in yogurt production, brewing or to test the freshness of foods.

Standard pH electrodes will often struggle when used in food samples, as the reference junction becomes blocked the reaction time will get slower and eventually the electrode will fail.

Using an electrode that is designed to cope with food samples will ensure longer life and more accurate results.

So what options are available to test the pH of food products?

1. The tough handheld meter

The Hanna HI-99161N is a simple to use and sturdy meter which comes complete with a dedicated food electrode.

The spear tip on the electrode can be used to easily pierce semi-solid foods like cheese and meat, but it’s also suitable for liquid products like sauces, yogurt or chutneys and jams. It is also coated in white PTFE to reduce sticking of products and make it easy to clean.

The meter offers great accuracy of ±0.1pH and the electrode has built in temperature compensation.

When combined with the shock protective sleeve the meter is an ideal choice for food manufacturing where speed and accuracy are needed in a demanding environment.

2. The pocket meter

If you need an even smaller meter for greater portability, the Laqua Twin pH meter offers a small and lightweight unit while still being compatible with a huge range of samples.

This tiny stick meter can accept solid, semi-solid and even powdered samples. It is also ideal for testing when only a very small amount of sample is available.

The open design of the sensor makes it easy to clean after testing and between samples.

3. The specialist electrodes

For laboratories that already have a pH meter, a specialist electrode can be connected to quickly change to food testing. This offers a good value option for laboratories who occastionally test food but also work with other sample types.

The EpoxyTough range of electrodes are hard-wearing and maintenance free, with no refilling required.

The Flat Double Junction electrode is an ideal choice for dairy, jams or chutneys or for very low volumes, while the Spear Tip Double Junction electrode can pierce into solids and semi-solids like meat, cheese, bread dough or fish.

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