In the food and beverage industry, water quality testing is integral to ensure the quality and safety of the consumable good. Contamination at any stage of the manufacturing process can have serious health implications for consumers—not to mention hefty financial consequences for the business. Because variations in quality can affect national health, water quality measurements and standards are regulated and overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Different foods and beverages have varying pH control ranges according to taste and other properties, so a single facility may require a collection of different specialized electrodes and meters. For instance, tea beverages have an average pH range of 6-7.5 pH, while carbonated beverages typically range from 2-4 pH.

Production lines often demand online pH testing to monitor data in real time from a central location. Furthermore, many food and beverage packaging lines use a Clean-in-Place (CIP) sanitation systems (for instance, the beer industry) which require online non-contact conductivity or concentration meters.

These facilities need a means of conducting frequent, accurate water quality measurements from a variety of locations and in a variety of substances, both aqueous and semi-solid. Due to the significance of water quality testing in this industry, manufacturing facilities are typically equipped with factory laboratories. These on-site labs are used to conduct additional, more precise measurements than those taken by inline monitors.

Along with choosing the right meter, users must pair meters with the right electrode. High-temperature environments, steam sterilization practices, and protein-rich substances (all of which are common in this industry) can shorten the operating life of an electrode that’s not built to withstand those conditions. To prolong the lifespan of testing equipment and ensure accurate measurement results, it’s important to specialize the electrodes used within the facility.

In addition to using cleaning systems, food and beverage facilities have higher hygiene standards and often have on-site wastewater processing systems. Similar to stand-alone wastewater treatment centers, these systems require frequent testing according to wastewater processing standards.

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