Beverage industry solutions provider Eureka Scientific launched Netherlands-based food and beverage process solutions manufacturer Pentair Haffmans’ carbon dioxide (CO2) selector onto the African market at the Food and Drink Technology Africa 2016 trade fair.
Following the trade fair, which was held in Johannesburg in September, Eureka is now making the benchtop laboratory instrument available on the African market, alongside Italian liquid analysis instruments provider Maselli Misure’s UC07 CO2 online measurement system, which was launched in South Africa in January.
Eureka sales and technical manager Nicholas Caswell highlights that the CO2 selector and UC07 offer noninvasive approaches to measuring CO2 in beverages and, significantly, neither of the instruments requires maintenance once installed.
He explains that CO2 management in beverages – such as beer, sparkling wine and soft drinks – is imperative, as the amount of CO2 affects the quality, shelf life and taste of the product.
“With the elimination of maintenance, the total cost of ownership for these products is very low, compared with other measuring instruments. Operating costs of these two pieces of equipment is, thus, nonexistent,” Caswell enthuses.
This is a strength in present market conditions, as, he notes, a key challenge facing South African breweries and wineries is the cost of process equipment and instruments, as the majority of these are imported from European manufacturers and, thus, are negatively impacted on by the continued weakening of the rand exchange rate.
He adds that there has subsequently been a definite slowdown in the import of equipment in these industries.
“There will always be a need for quality control equipment: however, as this is of critical importance when producing beverages. We’ve had great responses from the African market for these instruments and there is plenty of enthusiasm to change over to these technologies,” Caswell says.
The CO2 selector uses infrared technology to measure the partial CO2 pressure and total pressure of the headspace of the final packaged product. Caswell explains that a simple formula relying on pressure and temperature measurements is then used to calculate the dissolved CO2 content in the beverage.
“This noninvasive technology enables the customer to test the product without any of the packaging being damaged or any of the liquid having to leave the packaging.”
The product offers high-precision measurement and is suitable for all bottle closures, including swing tops, natural cork and sport caps. Measurement is, moreover, obtained quickly and repeatably.
The UC07 also uses infrared technology and is specifically designed to analyse the concentration of CO2 in sparkling wines and soft drinks. Caswell notes that the instrument leaves the factory calibrated and ready for use, adding that the only service operation required by the instrument is the replacement of the molecular sieve cartridge. He highlights that there are no moving parts on the instrument that require maintenance.
Eureka is the agent and distributor for Pentair Haffmans, Maselli Misure and thermal validation solutions provider Ellab Validation Solutions in the Southern African Development Community. The company has a footprint in all the major breweries and wineries operating in South Africa.
Maselli Misure’s UC07 instrument received the New Technology Award at the Lucio Mastroberardino Innovation Challenge for 2015, which recognises the innovations presented at the Simei International Enological and Bottling Equipment Exhibition that was held in Milan, Italy, in September last year.
The award is given to projects whose contribution to process and product innovations has led to significant improvements in the wine production process, a sector in which Maselli has been operating globally for more than 50 years.
All the innovations presented were assessed by a technical-scientific committee comprising 27 representatives from the wine-producing sector. This included 12 Italian researchers from the Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economics Analysis centres, in Italy, the Edmund Mach Foundation and seven universities worldwide, 12 directors of the most important wine-producing companies in Italy and three foreign representatives from prominent science institutes.
“I am delighted to be able to share this extraordinary achievement, which confirms our ability to apply optical technologies in the construction of sturdy and reliable liquid analysers . . . I am grateful to all our employees for their commitment and dedication to making this important project a success,” concludes Maselli Misure CEO Giovanni Maselli.