The Importance Of Water Test Strips In Food And Beverage Production
For large or small companies in the food and beverage production industry, the ability to repeat the production runs to eliminate even slight differences in ingredients is critical. Having complete consistency by weighing raw ingredients and automatic production is essential for complete uniformity of the end product.
One area where many companies fail to test and monitor for quality of ingredients is in the water they are using. This often overlooked component of food and beverage processing can have a big impact on the chemical reaction of different ingredients. This can be addressed with the use of simple water test strips prior to the start of a production run.
Another implication for issues with water hardness and pH testing is in the use of chemical cleaners in Clean in Place (CIP) system or even for systems that will be broken down for cleaning. When specific cleaning chemicals are used, and water pH or hardness is outside of the recommended range for the cleaner, it will reduce effectiveness.
In addition to water test strips, most companies producing foods and beverages should also be testing the system for any residual cleaners after the cleaning process is completed. This will be important with both CIP and COP (Clean Out of Place) systems.
Easy to Use
Look for water test strips that are simple and easy to use. These are typically strips with a reagent area that is immersed in the water to be tested to get the pad area wet. Then, the strip is removed and left for a period of time, typically just a few seconds. The color change on the pad is then compared to the chart supplied, giving a semi-quantitative reading of the pH or water hardness at that precise moment.