Berthold introduces microwave technology for water and solids measurements in dairy industry

Microwave technology allows users to monitor water or solid contents during the manufacturing of dairy products, ensuring consistent quality and cost-efficient production

Water is a characteristic component of dairy products. It determines consistency and influences the taste as well as the quality of the final product. In most countries, the water content of butter is subjected to strict monitoring. According to one regulation, for example, the water content of butter in Europe may not exceed 16%. With Berthold’s microwave technology, users can monitor the water or solid content during production in real time, which enables early detection of deviations. This makes it possible to maintain consistent quality and cost-efficient production. It also ensures that the dairy products comply with all legal requirements and that the product meets expectations.

The measuring system provides continuous and real-time information on the current water content or dry matter on a wide range of dairy products. The measurement can be applied directly in the main stream, therefore a bypass is not required. The materials used, which are FDA and EHEDG approved, allow easy cleaning and are resistant to high temperatures, acids and bases. Furthermore, performance is not affected by colour, viscosity, or inhomogeneity of the product.

Typical applications include:

  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Curd
  • Cream cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Non-dairy plant-based alternatives

The advantages of Berthold’s measurement solutions for the ethanol industry are as such:

  • Multi-frequency technology for dynamic plausibility control of the raw signal
  • Representative microwave measurement captures the entire pipeline cross section
  • Precise and reliable measurement <0.2wt% (standard deviation)
  • Online monitoring of the water or solids content during production
  • CIP and SIP resistant materials
  • Low-wear and maintenance-free
  • Production optimisation

The measuring principle

The measurement system generates microwaves that interact with the water molecules due to their high dielectric constant. This interaction causes an attenuation of the microwave energy, which can be detected as phase shift and attenuation. Since the phase shift and attenuation change are directly proportional to the water content in the product, the concentration or solids content in the medium can be determined with high accuracy. The multi-frequency technology from Berthold ensures stable and reliable measurements, unaffected by interfering reflections or resonances from the measuring environment.