The testing of samples is an integral part of any food production process. Often these tests are carried out in an in-house laboratory or involve an external facility. However, LAQUAtwin pocket meters provide an opportunity for you and your operatives to carry out essential testing at any time and from any location. The only meters with flat sensor technology, these compact devices allow for six different methods of testing and are suited to a wide range of applications.

But which of these pocket meters is the best fit for your site and how many of these devices will you need to carry out the relevant tests?

These questions will be answered in the following article – a comprehensive guide to LAQUAtwin pocket meters and what exactly they can tell you about the food or beverages produced at your site. There is something to learn about all of the pocket meters in this range, but you can also use the links below to skip to the instrument you would most like to learn about.

What is a LAQUAtwin Pocket Meter?

The LAQUAtwin pocket meter employs the same test principles as standard laboratory electrodes. However, all of its components fit into a flat sensor that is less than 1mm thick. This will allow your operatives to carry out essential tests anywhere and at any time. Easy to use, with no need for training, these pocket meters can be calibrated with the touch of a button and are able to test a range of materials.

What are the six different ways of testing?

Immersion

You can test samples in a beaker, just ensure the sensor guard sliding cap is open.

Scoop

You can use the pocket meters as a scoop when testing liquids.

Drops

Another option is to place a drop of the sample onto the sensor with a pipette. LAQUAtwin meters can measure sample volumes as low as 0.05 ml.

Solid Samples

You can test foods that contain at least some moisture by placing a small piece of the sample directly onto the sensor.

Paper and Textiles

Simply cut the sample into small pieces and place directly onto the sensor. Drop on your defined volume of pure water.

Powders

The pocket meters can also test dry powders. Simply place the powder onto the sample and drop on your defined volume of pure water.

Pocket pH Meter

Option One

  • Point Calibration
  • 0.0-14.0 pH
  • Accurate to 0.1pH
  • Waterproof

Option Two

  • 3 Point Calibration
  • 0.00 -14.00 pH
  • Accurate to 0.01pH
  • Waterproof

Option Three

  • 5 Point Calibration
  • 0.00 -14.00 pH
  • Accurate to 0.01pH
  • Waterproof
  • Measures pH and temperature

Meat processing sites are some of the most likely locations to require a pH pocket meter, as fresh meat typically needs to have a pH value in the range of 5.5 to 6.2 if it is going to be sold to consumers.

What’s more, animals, especially pigs, are susceptible to stress during slaughter. This can lead to increased Cortisol levels which produces either a dry, firm DFD meat or a pale, soft PSE meat that leaks excess fluid when cooked. Carrying out pH tests on the carcass or cuts of meat can help to confirm if it is suitable for use.

Sites that handle fermented or preserved food will also need a pocket pH meter to carry out acidity checks. For example, pickled fruits and vegetables typically need to have a pH value lower than 4.6 to prevent botulism, and fermented sausages typically need to have a pH value lower than 5.3 to be considered microbiologically stable.

Another interesting example relates to sushi production, with the rice used for sushi acidified with vinegar (an acetic acid) so that it has a pH of less than 4.6 (typical value for most sites). This process inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria and ensures the rice is safe for consumption.

A pH pocket meter can also be used to ensure chemical residue has been removed post cleaning – helping to avoid cross contamination and taint. If, for instance, a site establishes that water has a pH or 7, all purpose cleaner has a pH of 11, and oven cleaner, chlorine foam, or bleach has a pH of 13, it can then compare these results to the expected pH of a surface that is clear of chemical residue.

One final example is tuna production. Within this area of the industry, the growth of a food pathogen microorganism called Clostridium Botulinum is a serious concern. A key reason for this is its significant levels of heat resistance. To protect against this, the brine of canned acidic products, such as tuna, typically needs to have a pH value of 4.6 or below. This is another instance where on-the-spot pH checks are essential.

Pocket Conductivity Meter

Option One

  • 3 Measurement Ranges
  • 2 Point Calibration
  • Accurate to 0.01 mS/cm
  • 0-199.9mS/cm

Option Two

  • 4 Measurement Ranges
  • 3 Point Calibration
  • Accurate to 0.01 mS/cm
  • 0-199.9mS/cm
  • Measures conductivity and temperature

Option Three

  • 4 Measurement Ranges
  • 3 Point Calibration
  • Accurate to 0.01 mS/cm
  • 0-199.9mS/cm
  • Measures conductivity and temperature

It is common to observe a change in conductivity in a contaminated product. For example, in the dairy industry, conductivity pocket meters will often be used to detect the presence of impurities in raw milk. They can also be used to detect certain pathogens and bacteria in food.

If a process at your site requires you to determine the concentration of products such as sauces, juices, and milk, you will find further use for a conductivity pocket meter, as it can be used to measure dissolved ions.

Finally, a Clean In Place Process requires the flushing water to be tested for the removal of all cleaning chemical residues. As Cleaning Chemicals tend to be more conductive than water, a conductivity test will be able to support this process.

Pocket Salinity Meter

Option One

  • EC Sensor
  • 0.00-10.00%
  • Accurate to 0.01%
  • Waterproof
  • 2 Point Calibration
  • Measures salinity and temperature
  • Auto calibration

Option Two

  • Na+ Sensor
  • 0.00-25%
  • Accurate to 0.01%
  • Waterproof
  • 2 Point Calibration
  • Measures salinity and temperature
  • Auto calibration

Pocket Salinity Meters can be used to test salt concentrations in liquids such as brines and sauces. This not only ensures the quality of your finished product is consistent, but also ensures it meets its published nutritional values. Although it’s important that the salt values of your product are not overly high, it is also worth remembering that salt is often used to flavour products, and even keep them safe. Often a salinity meter will test finished products, ensuring the salt levels are such that harmful bacteria is unable to survive and multiply.

In the past, sites relied on Titration to carry out this process, using glass test tubes and silver nitrate – both of which were potential risks to food factories. In contrast, the pocket meter eliminates these risks, ideally suited to a food factory environment.

Pocket Sodium Ion (Na+) Meter

  • EC Sensor
  • 0.00-10.00%
  • Accurate to 0.01%
  • Waterproof
  • 2 Point Calibration
  • Also measures temperature

Salt is around 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Because of this, determining the sodium levels in your ingredients is an essential part of establishing the nutritional content of your finished product. With high levels of sodium linked to high blood pressure and hypertension, the NHS considers 0.6g per 100g a high level of sodium and 0.1g per 100g a low level of sodium. This has led to a growing concern around canned foods and chili sauces with large sodium contents.

If your site uses alkaline cleaning solutions containing caustic soda or sodium hydroxide, a sodium pocket meter could also help you to check if any residue has been left on your surfaces or equipment following a clean. Having this knowledge at your disposal will help you to refine the cleaning processes at your site and will further protect your product from chemical contamination.

Pocket Potassium Ion (K+) Meter

Potassium is present in many different foods, especially in fruit and vegetables. Examples of products with high potassium levels include tomatoes, bell peppers, aubergines, and potatoes. A pocket K+ meter will allow your operatives to carry out on-site plant tissue analysis of potassium levels, a process that is essential to determining the nutritional value of your finished product.

Pocket Calcium Ion (Ca2+) Meter

As you might expect, pocket calcium meters will often be found at sites that produce milk and milk beverages. They are also an important device for factories that rely on milk as a key ingredient. As with sodium, calcium levels are required for inclusion on the nutritional label of your finished product, with the NHS advising that adults aged 19 and over need around 700mg of calcium per day.

The calcium content of drinking water also needs to be tested. Again, this will help consumers to accurately gauge their calcium intake. Another benefit of understanding the calcium levels of water is that it helps to determine how it will react when heated, as scaling is more likely to occur if a large amount of calcium is present. Consequently, the pocket calcium meter is not just suited to drinking water, but could also help you to test the water used for production and cleaning at your site.

Pocket Nitrates Meter

Nitrate Limits protect against:

  • Carcinogenic substances
  • Pathogenic bacteria (e.g. Listeria, Salmonella, and Clostridia)
  • Exposure to nitrosamines (some of which are carcinogenic)

These limits most commonly relate to factories that produce: ripened cheese, whey cheese, cheese products, dairy analogues, non-heat treated and heat-treated meat products, processed fish and fishery products, and traditionally cured products.

Within these sites, a pocket nitrates meter can be used to establish the effectiveness of certain cleaning processes – determining if nitrates have been effectively removed or if one zone of your factory has been contaminated by another. For instance, if your site handles both cured and non-cured products, a nitrate meter will be able to tell you if there has been cross-contamination between each section.

Finally, if you site is located in an area where agriculture is an important part of the landscape, it is possible that nitrates from the use of fertilisers ect… will find their way into the water course. Because of this, many sites rely on nitrate testing to ensure the water coming into their site will not have a negative effect on their product e.g. turning the flesh of their chicken meat pink.

That brings us to the end of our overview of the LAQUAtwin pocket meters and the ways in which they could be put to use at your site. From using a pocket calcium ion meter to detect the hardness of your water to gathering the relevant information for the nutritional labels on your product, there are a wide range of applications for you to explore.

If you would like our support with this process or would be interested in learning more about the pocket meters mentioned in this article, you can contact us on 01473461800 or sales@klipspringer.com. Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form below and one of our friendly team members will be in touch. 

If you would like to learn more about LAQUAtwin pocket meters, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help. Share your details below to arrange a free consultation.