Insort's Sherlock Food Analyser Lets You Know the Level of Moisture in Potato Fries Non-Destructively in Real Time

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Insort Sherlock Food Analyser

Insort's Sherlock Food Analyser can measure the Level of Moisture in Potato Fries Non-Destructively in Real Time

April 02, 2023
The taste and ingredients of food are critical factors in its quality and enjoyment and being able to measure these properties accurately can help them to improve the quality of the processed food we eat.

Furthermore, accurate measurement helps to make the production process as efficient as possible, which is becoming increasingly important in times of sustainability and ever higher production costs.

To measure the various components of food, Insort has specially developed the Sherlock Food Analyser, a compact monitor and process control device that uses spatially resolved infrared spectroscopy.

This technique uses infrared light to identify the chemical composition of a substance, allowing it to determine the precise makeup of the food being processed.

One example of using infrared spectroscopy to measure food is in the analysis of the moisture content of french fries. By emitting infrared light on a sample of fries and analysing the light that is absorbed, it is possible to determine the precise moisture content of the fries in real time.

This technique can be particularly useful for ensuring the quality and consistency of french fries in a commercial setting.

By continuously monitoring the moisture content of the fries as they are being cooked, it is possible to ensure that they are being prepared to the desired level of crispness and moisture. This results in a higher level of yield, product quality and efficiency for processors.

Laboratory Process

Up till now to monitor a continuous flow of products such as french fries, samples are repeatedly taken and analysed in the laboratory. Due to the often complex and destructive process, only a few samples can be taken per tie per hour Since these are natural products, they are subject to natural fluctuations.

Experience shows that, for example, the dry matter value is subject to a standard deviation of 2.4%. The average dry matter value is at about 20.5%. The comparatively small sample is taken from the product flow at random. Figure 1 shows an example of the distribution of 7 samples within one hour.

The samples badly represent the true distribution and the mean value. In addition, the information is passed on with a time delay, which means that an error in the production process can only be recognized after some time.

To overcome this time consuming and expensive process, Insort developed the Sherlock Food Analyser.

CIT® Technology

The Sherlock Food Analyser uses the well proven Chemical Imaging Technology (CIT®). Spatial Infrared Spectroscopy is used to measure every single french fry passing the line of sight.

In the process of setup, the device is calibrated exactly to the circumstances and the product measures. By doing so, a high measurement accuracy can be assured. Furthermore, the Sherlock Food Analyser measures the product flow continuously and non-destructively.

Meaning 100,000 readings per hour can be recorded. As shown in Figure 1, the status of your production can be analysed in real time in terms of mean value and deviation and represented with high precision. In addition, no laboratory resources are tied up.
 
Figure 1: Probability function of a view laboratory samples in comparison to the representation by the sherlock food analyser.

Figure 1: Probability function of a view laboratory samples in comparison to the representation by the sherlock food analyser.

Gain and profit

The measurement device possesses the ability to implement an optimal process control. This leads to a perfect product taste while the usage of resources like raw potatoes, oil and energy can be optimized.

The foregoing means a perfect customer experience, and satisfaction and a more profitable process Calculations made by Insort’s process engineers show that one SFA can save the processor up to EUR 1,7 m ( USD 1,8 m) per year just by stabilizing the 1.82 roduction process.

Present and Future

The Sherlock Food Analyser using Chemical Imaging Technology (CIT®) is a powerful tool that allows to measure the taste and ingredients of food, including the moisture content of french fries inline in real time.

The collected information can be used to improve the quality and consistency of food, gaining higher yields and raise raising efficiency. For the producer it helps to improve and streamline the production process in the sense of industry 4.0. For the engineers of Insort it is not the end of the road to just know the moisture content.

Using infrared spectroscopy also opens up other measurements such as sugar or starch content, which helps to forecast the degree of browning and crispiness to offer the optimal taste experience.