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YSI biochemistry analysers find diverse applications

20 September 2010

YSI biochemistry analysers have become established in the food sector across a diverse range of applications: they're used in quality control to prevent product spoilage in foods such as tomato ketchup, potato snacks, preserves, among others

They are used for research into food content and its effect on the body, for example, by monitoring glucose levels in blood after eating certain foods. One sugar manufacturer even uses a YSI analyser to measure the amount of waste sugar being discharged into its drains, both for environmental reasons and to make sure productivity is kept as high as possible.

One of the main uses of the flexible YSI 2700 Analyser is to prevent contamination in food by monitoring the levels of lactate acid (lactate and L-lactate) which build up to form bacterial organisms such as lactobacillus in tomato paste. As soon as the YSI 2700 detects unacceptable levels of lactic acid, preventative measures are taken to ensure production is not compromised.

The YSI 2700 is also widely used to ensure compliance to specifications. For example a UK preserves manufacturer uses the YSI 2700 to measure sucrose and glucose levels and another UK manufacturer uses the YSI 2700 to run their fermentation process within specification and as efficiently as possible, by measuring glucose and ethanol.

Sucrose and dextrose levels are closely monitored by potato snack manufactures, by testing the potatoes both before they go into storage and while being stored. As potatoes age, the carbohydrates change to sugar the higher sugar levels darken the potato crisp. Manufactures favour the lighter coloured crisps to meet consumer preference and so the YSI 2700 determines when the potatoes will go off colour and when they need to be shipped to the manufacturer.

Potato growers used to outsource the testing, but the high cost per test meant that fewer tests were carried out. Now, by using the YSI 2700, the producers no longer need to send samples to the laboratory – the testing is carried out simply and quickly in-house, saving the snack producers thousands of pounds annually in wasted product. The YSI 2700 is simple to use and extensive operator training is not required.

Leatherhead Food Research provides a glycaemic index (GI) testing service for the food and beverage industry. Currently, they have told us, there is much interest in the potential health benefits of low-GI foods. Recent studies have indicated that low GI foods may affect weight loss by causing a reduction in both appetite and food intake.

High GI foods include cakes, biscuits, potatoes and white bread. Low GI foods are more slowly absorbed and include most vegetables, legumes and whole grain cereal products. Choosing slowly absorbed carbohydrates can help to even out blood glucose levels, which can be very important, for example when treating diabetes.

Leatherhead Food Research tests foods to establish their GI value and this is calculated by using human volunteers. The volunteers consume the food being tested and blood glucose measurements are taken using the YSI 2300 Analyser.

The GI is the degree to which consumption of a specific food raises blood sugar levels (measured as blood glucose) when compared with a reference food, for example, glucose in solution. Leatherhead Food Research uses the YSI 2300 for analysis of plasma glucose samples and the Leatherhead people, who work with the volunteers, choose to use it due to its high precision and ability to run samples in batches. They have told us that they have found the YSI 2300 to be user-friendly and reliable.

Choline may also be tested using the YSI 2700 Analyser. A diagnostics company in Ireland tests for choline in infant formula milk using this analyser. Choline is a nutrient which is vital for human development from foetus through to adulthood, but due to the rapid pace of development in our early lives, the need is greater in infants. Human milk has high levels of choline and this needs to be replicated in infant formula milk.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that infant formula not made from cow’s milk be supplemented with choline. Over the past few years much research has been undertaken into the benefits of choline and it has been found not only to be essential for the brain development in foetuses and infants but also studies have shown that choline can help to prevent memory loss associated with aging and is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to the chemistries already mentioned the YSI Biochemistry Analyser will also measure, galactose, hydrogen peroxide, L-glutamate, L-glutamine, methanol and xylose. The YSI 2700 will test for two compatible pairings of chemistries out of the entire suite, whereas the YSI 2300 will only test for Glucose and Lactate.

There is also a multi-parameter Analyser, the YSI 7100, which will run up to 6 chemistries simultaneously. The YSI personnel are always happy to discuss individual applications in order to explore options available for using a YSI Analyser.

Many of the food and beverage manufacturers boast a rapid return on their YSI investment, due to the quality control cost savings.

If you would like to find out more about the YSI Analysers contact our office on
+44 (0)1252 819844 for a full product brochure or e-mail uksales@ysi.com


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