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Quality control of alcoholic beverages relies on OEM pumps from Watson-Marlow

Zeutec Opto-Elektronik of Rendsburg, Germany has adopted 114 series OEM peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group in technology that partners the company's latest SpectraAlyzer 2.0, a near-infrared (NIR) analyser for alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and spirits. Zeutec, a supplier of spectrometer systems, now relies on the peristaltic pumps for use in an auto-sampler, which is used to prepare samples ready for analysis by the SpectraAlyzer.

The SpectraAlyzer is able to indicate the most important parameters relating to the quality of alcoholic beverages in a matter of moments. In the case of wine, for example, such parameters will include alcohol, sugar and acid content as well as pH value, density and colour.

The main advantage is that NIR methods can be carried out quickly and cost-effectively during the production process. For this reason, the SpectraAlyzer is already used by large alcoholic beverage producers, such as Moët & Chandon and Pernod Ricard. For larger producers, it is particularly important to be able to carry out automated measurements because it can take a great deal of time to feed in and present samples manually. For this reason, Zeutec has developed its own compact XY auto-sampler which can take up to 32 samples automatically.

'Around 60 measurements per hour are no problem when using the auto-sampler,' explains Daniel Hembd, head of research and development at Zeutec. 'The sample liquid is taken with a filling needle. Then, the peristaltic pump fitted to the back of the auto-sampler conveys the sample to the measuring cell, and then into a container.'

The 114 series OEM peristaltic pump from Watson-Marlow is suitable for a number of different tubes with an internal diameter ranging from 0.5 to 4.8mm. In addition, the compact and virtually maintenance-free pumphead facilitates a precise and reproducible flow rate ranging from 2 µl/min to 510 ml/min. With a flip-top lid, the tube can be replaced quickly without tools.

The pumphead features low pulsation thanks to four rollers. For this reason, the 114 series OEM pump is often favoured for use in analytical applications. Another important argument for the pump was its suitability for continuous tubes.

"In the case of a continuous tube, there are no points between the auto-sampler and the measuring device where deposits can build up or where air can get into the sample and have a negative impact on precision," explains Mr Hembd.

Continuous tubes not only exclude the risk of cross-contamination, they also reduce the cost of replacing tubes. When the tube becomes worn at the point where it is squeezed, it can simply be moved on a few centimetres.