My company works with a variety of sugars/sweeteners and we have been trying to work on cremes and so forth recently. In order to do Brix (really total solids) testing and pH testing on the product, we have to take a sample, and run it to the lab. We then have to wait for the sample to cool down while diluting it as necessary. This process can take 15 minutes or so, which cuts into production time if adjustments have to be made. It also means the product has to sit at high heat longer if adjustments have to be made. We're looking into the feasibility of testing Total Solids and pH inline, where adjustments can be made right away.
We've been questioning whether or not there's a good pH probe out there that can work with very viscous products and sample inline without having to cool down or do any dilutions. We're also wondering if there is a refractometric instrument that will work similarly (not having to cool down or do any dilutions) while testing inline.
I've always been under the impression that even with temperature compensated instruments, there's a larger margin of error or inaccuracy with high temperatures, hence why most testing is done around 20C. The products we're talking about will have temperature ranges of anywhere between 49C and 116C depending on the product type, and I'm not sure if inline testing would be sufficient at those temperatures.
Anyone have ideas, or suggestions as far as lab instruments?