pH of Brine
Measuring the pH of brine using conventional sensors is not just challenging but in the long run may also decrease the life of sensors by causing physical damage to their glass membrane. For instance, using a sensor with spherical shaped sensing membrane will make it difficult to pierce through solid samples. Several attempts in piercing through the sample may also lead to scratches on the sensing membrane, thus affecting the accuracy and life of the sensor. In such cases, having a sensor with a spear shaped tip would help in easy insertion into solid samples and can also be used for liquid samples.
METTLER TOLEDO's InLab Solids Pro-ISM is a special sensor for measuring the pH of brine both in canned foods and liquid solutions with accuracy and precision. The sensor is well designed to handle all the requirements needed for the pH measurement of brine in canned foods including solid food samples and brine solutions. The sensor has a spear shaped tip made of toughened glass that allows direct insertion into the solid or semisolid food samples and is resistant to breakage. The specialized design and overall sensor technology of the InLab Solids Pro-ISM ensures direct sample measurement of brine samples.
There are many more benefits that can be offered by this sensor, which specializes in the measurements of the pH of brine samples. To learn more about the advantages of using this sensor, read this application note.
The following sections provide more information about brine, its use for preservation and the importance of pH measurement in brine samples.
What is brine?
Originally, brine was a synonym for saline water. By definition, any aqueous solution of high concentration of one or different kinds of salts is a brine. For a long time, common salt (sodium chloride) has been used to preserve food products from microbial spoilage. Preservation techniques like curing, pickling and canning make use of salt solutions that are termed as brine. These brining practices were the popular food preservation methods when there was no option of refrigeration.
What happens during brining?
When a food product is brined, simple osmosis takes place wherein the salt from the brine reaches an equilibrium with the salt content of the food product. This inhibits the microbial growth by reducing the water activity of the food.
Why is measuring pH of brine important?
Measuring the pH of brine is essential as it is widely used in food production and preservation processes. Preservation techniques like curing, pickling and canning make use of salt solutions that are termed as brine. The use of brine is prevalent in the canned food, cheese, fish and meat curing industries, etc.
Do we have any guidelines from regulatory bodies concerning ideal pH of brine?
Food acidity prevents foodborne illness caused by C. botulinum bacteria. Based on this fact, the code of federal regulations under 21 CFR part 114 requires that the canned foods industry maintain an equilibrium pH of 4.6 or below in acidic canned foods. To comply with these guidelines, it is imperative to frequently test and record the pH value of the liquid brine and of the solid food during the manufacturing and production processes.