ASBC Beer Color and Turbidity

ASBC Color

The ASBC Beer Color scale has a range of approximately 1 to 11 units, with the more yellow, pale worts at the low end of the scale and the redder color of dark worts, beers and caramels at the upper end of the scale.

The industry reference method for ASBC Beer Color and Turbidity Is:

ASBC Beer-10 Color of Beer Part A. Spectrophotometric Color Method available from ASBC – American Society of Brewing Chemists, affiliated with AACC – American Association of Cereal Chemists, St. Paul, MN USA Continue reading

ERIC – Effective Residual Ink Concentration Value

ERIC stands for Effective Residual Ink Concentration and is a control parameter used to quantify the amount of residual ink left in recycled or de-inked pulp (DIP) and paper before and after de-inking and/or bleaching processes. Other parameters measured are brightness and dirt content.

Absorption curve showing residual ink levels at NIR 800 to 1200 nm.

Absorption curve showing residual ink levels at NIR 800 to 1200 nm.

Based on joint research by PAPRICAN (Pulp And Paper Research Institute of Canada) and Technidyne Corporation, it was determined that there was a relationship between the ink and only the ink (not dyes or colorants, paper lignins, pulp yellowing or loss of brightness due to bleaching or process effects) and the reflectance in the 800 – 1200-nm infrared region of the spectrum. This unique correlation makes the ERIC value based on absorption at 950 nm ideal for verification of residual ink concentration for recycled paper.

The ERIC value is affected by the distribution of ink particle size with this metric being most effective for residual ink determination when the ink particles are submicron in size.

ERIC values in ppm = (Ink Absorption Coefficient * Absorption at 950-nm)

where the Ink Absorption Coefficient is based on analytical determination.

ERIC value is a dimensionless ratio of the light absorption coefficient of pulp or paper containing ink to the light absorption coefficient of the ink itself, both being determined at a wavelength of 950 nm. The User will need to calibrate the ERIC value to report in ppom with an added Ink Absorption Coefficient determined by the User.

Research References:

Jordan, B.D. and Popson S.J., 2nd Research Forum on Recycling, St. Adele, Proceedings: 153-169 (1993)

Jordan, B. D. and Popson, S.J. “Measuring the concentration of residual ink in recycled newsprint”, Journal of Paper Science 20 (6):J161-167 (1994)

Trepanier, R.J., Jordan, B., Nguyen, N. and Patschka, H.J. “High-Magnification Image Analysis with Novel Background Reflectance Technique for Measuring Residual Ink in Sheets,” Journal of Pulp and Paper Science, 23 (3): J129 (1997)

Jordan, B. and O’Neill, M. “The Kubelka-Munk Absorption Coefficients of Several Carbon Blacks and Water-Based Printing Inks,” Journal of Pulp and Paper Science, 20 (12): 371 (December 1994)

Carre, B., Galland, G. and Saint Amand, F.J. “Control of Detachment and Removal of Ink by Image Analysis,” Centre Technique de l’Industrie des Papiers (CTP), Grenoble, France, doc. # 1670, (9 March 1994)

Industrial References:

TAPPI Test Method T 567 Determination of Effective Residual Ink Concentration by Infrared Reflectance Measurement

ISO 22754 Pulp and paper — Determination of the effective residual ink concentration (ERIC number) by infrared reflectance measurement

PAPTAC E.8 ERIC value for residual ink concentration

Color and haze measurement of fruit drinks and carbonated beverages

FAQ: “I have worked with a company measuring the color of sports drinks. Now this company is interested in fruit drinks and also in carbonated soft drinks. Have you worked with these types of beverages? Any advice or recommendations?”

Fruit drinks contain:

  • water
  • corn sweeteners
  • may contain some fruit juice or fruit solids
  • flavors (oil emulsions)
  • may have clouding agent which is usually citric acid. Putting in a clouding agent to create a hazy appearance is a marketing decision which depends on the consumer association with the type of drink.

In a fruit drink, whether there is any natural fruit juice or not, the appearance of haze can be created by the presence of oil flavor emulsions and/or clouding agents such as citric acid. These are added on purpose to create a hazy appearance in some flavors of fruit drinks such as pineapple, lemonade, grapefruit and guava where the consumer expects some scattering.

For other fruit drink flavors such as apple, cream soda or grape the consumer does not have the expectation of a hazy appearance and no additional clouding agents are added.HunterLab can measure both lot-to-lot color and haze (or no haze for clear drinks) inherent in different fruit drinks.

If the beverage is carbonated (a separate source of scattering), it should be decarbonated to remove the carbonation as an unnecessary cause of scattering (independent of color) and measurement variation.To de-carbonate the beverage, place the liquid sample in a sonicator (there are a number available but I have seen a Branson Sonicator in successful use in the lab) that breaks up the carbonization by bombarding with Ultrasound for 60 seconds. Some care has to be taken that the carbonated beverage be placed in a container at least twice the volume of the beverage because when the ultrasound pummels the carbonization, the release of carbon dioxide gas can effervesce suddenly.

Another low-tech option to decarbonization is to place an air hose from the normal lab air supply into the beverage and gently run the air for about 4 minutes. The slow stream of air bubbles break up the carbonization gradually.

Carbon Blackness [My], Jetness [Mc], Undertone [dM] and Tint Strength [T]

“Carbon black, also called charcoal black lamp black, pigment black, soot or black carbon, is a fine particle carbon pigment obtained as soot from the incomplete combustion of many different types of organic materials, such as natural gas, or oil. Carbon black is usually a fine, soft, black powder. It is very stable and unaffected by light, acids and alkalis. It is commonly used in printing and lithograph inks and in Chinese ink sticks. In industry, carbon black is used as a filtration material and a filler /pigment in coatings, rubber, plastics, paints, carbon paper, and crayons. Continue reading

What is the stability of the APHA/Pt-Co/Hazen liquid color standards?

Per Section 6.2 of ASTM D1209 Standard Test Method for Color of Clear Liquids (Platinum Cobalt Scale):

“When properly sealed and stored the standards are stable for at least a year and do not degrade markedly for 2 years.”

 Our industrial experience is that if kept properly stoppered in amber bottles, the APHA/Pt-Co/Hazen visual color standards do not degrade significantly for longer than 2 years but this is the time frame that most sources reference as optimal.

If you have a dated APHA/Pt-Co/Hazen 500 liquid color standard, one validation method would be to see if it still meets the absorbance tolerance limits of ASTM D1209 Table 1, and is effectively clear (ASTM D1003 Haze% < 2).

A literature reference on stability of the APHA/Pt-Co/Hazen color standards can be found at:

Scharf, W. W., Ferber, K. H., and White, R. G., “Stability of Platinum-Cobalt Color Standards,” Materials Research and Standards, Vol. 6, No 6, June 1966 pp 302-304.


Color Measurement of Wine

Wine is a natural product where some color variation is expected and accepted. High color comes from high anthocyanin content and high tannins associated with red wines. Color varies with wine processing practices, particularly fermentation temperature. Co-pigmentation in wine and berry colors, related to presence of anthocyanins, enhances the wine color. Continue reading

What is Hunter Whiteness Index?

Hunter Whiteness Index [WIH]

There are at least half a dozen whiteness indices in use today, and a similar number of legacy whiteness indices no longer in use. There are subtleties among them and it is important to know the forms of these whiteness metrics and conditions for which they are derived for. In general, a material will exhibit high whiteness if the material reflectance has high and even reflectance, near 100%, across the visible spectrum.

Continue reading