USE OF BRIX REFRACTOMETER TO TEST FOR QUALITY
The refractometer is a tool which measures the refractive
index of a liquid. When light rays shine through the liquid they
strike the carbohydrate, salt and other molecules depending
upon the type of calibration used. When the light rays strike the
molecules, they bend or refract. The greater the calibrated
molecular concentration of the liquid in question, the greater
High quality (High BRIX) produce, in the true sense of the word, will not rot. It will simply dehydrate with age. For some, this is a very difficult statement to acknowledge, since the majority of the produce in this county does rot if not consumed a few days after purchase.
“A plant with low brix makes an easy target for insects who sense the plant’s ill health, and will hone in for an easy feed.” That explains why healthy plants, registering a high brix level, indicate superior resistance to pests and diseases, which ultimately means less time and expense needed be spent on pest control measures. Moreover, for the consumer, produce with high brix levels have increased sugar, mineral and protein levels, and have improved flavour.
By in large, brix indicators are easy to translate: a low brix reading points to low nutrition, and a high brix reading indicates the higher nutritional value of produce. Reprinted from BFA News - Winter 2001 edition, pp22-23.
A common misconception is that Brix indicates the sugar content (usually sucrose, glucose or fructose) of produce. While sugars may certainly make a dominant contribution to the juice extracted from sweet fruits like mangoes or pineapples, this is definitely not the whole story and anyone who claims otherwise is quite simply wrong. A simple Brix measurement shows all of the dissolved solids in the sample which includes soluble minerals, carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and other soluble chemicals such as amino acids, enzymes and so on. It cannot, by itself, distinguish between sugars and other minerals; you need a much more sophisticated, and expensive, apparatus to do that. certifiednaturallyfarmed.org
Difficulty in Determining the Brix Reading. Sometimes the actual position of the coloured boundary line can be quite difficult to determine because it's very diffuse. In these cases, you should try to estimate where the ‘half-intensity’ position is and take this as the Brix reading. However this may not be a bad situation to be in as many biological farming consultants interpret a diffuse band as indicative of high mineral content in the sample (as opposed to carbohydrates) but we're still looking for an objective reference to verify this. Be aware that you can also get a diffuse boundary if the liquid sample has a cloudy or milky appearance (ie contains very fine particles in suspension) or is strongly coloured (eg chlorophyll). certifiednaturallyfarmed.org
Every farmer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer interested in the quality of food needs a refractometer. What consumer would not be willing to pay a little more for food with two or four times as much nutritional value? The smart consumer will demand an "excellent" Brix reading and farmers will be rewarded for quality as well as quantity.
Refractometer readings indicate that produce sold in grocery stores generally has 25% to 50% of the nutrients it ought to have. This suggests that even if you eat all the fruits and vegetables you are supposed to eat, your body will be starved for many nutrients. If you are eating this food, a good nutritional supplement is not optional.
Plants and foods with high Brix readings will dehydrate before spoiling (getting moldy). Therefore, we would suggest that high brix readings provide a strong line of defense against mold, helping to prevent consumption of aflatoxi. www.alkalizeforhealth.net/refractometer.html