Hand refractometer use in horticulture

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By on. Everybody wants to grow nutritious food and it has become common to measure nutrient density with a Brix refractometer. High Brix is equated to highly nutritious food, but is this really true? Brix readings have been used in agriculture for many years but is there a reason for gardeners to bother making this measurement?

  • Sweet corn growing
  • Top Rated in Lab Refractometers
  • Measuring sugar levels in cherries using an infrared meter
  • Refractometer
  • Refractometers (Brix Meters)
  • If Plants Could Talk...About EC
  • Measuring internal maturity of citrus
  • Horticulture International Journal
  • Hand Refractometer manufacturers & suppliers
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to use brix refractometer

Sweet corn growing

The sweet corn industry in New South Wales is expanding - benefiting from increasing domestic consumption, export development and import replacement. Also, it is an attractive crop for producers to grow because:. Most sweet corn in New South Wales is grown for the processing sector, ending up on the supermarket shelves as products, which include canned kernels, frozen cobetts and frozen kernels. In warmer coastal and inland districts, a longer growing season allows two crops to be planted each year compared with one crop in the cooler Tablelands and Slopes districts.

The sweet corn industry has recently achieved important advances in production and marketing through benchmarking, crop monitoring and adopting quality management. There are some important developments that demonstrate the confidence and progressive attitude of the industry. Corn is thought to have originated in Mexico. The ancient Inca, Mayan and Aztec civilisations are credited as being the first to domesticate corn as a crop.

Archaeological excavations in Mexico unearthed wild corn cobs which were dated about BC, and cultivated corn cobs about BC. Sweet corn differs from other corns field maize, popcorn and ornamental because the kernels have a high sugar content in the milk or early dough stage. Sweet corn is grown in most Australian States, with New South Wales producing just over half of the national production. The dominant position of New South Wales and its processing industry is expected to continue.

Figure 1 shows the major sweet corn growing areas in Australia. One 18 L carton holds about 9 kg or 24 to 30 whole cobs. Australians are also eating more sweet corn. This per capita consumption is, however, much lower than in the United States, where each American eats an average of 12 kg of sweet corn a year.

In the United States, sweet corn is ranked the third most popular vegetable for consumption, while in Australia it is ranked 10th.

Most of the sweet corn eaten in Australia is grown here. Occasionally, though, processors will import sweet corn to overcome a local shortfall. Imported products are usually frozen or canned. Table 2 gives an indication of the proportion of imports versus exports in the sweet corn trade. Australia also exports an increasing amount of frozen or canned kernel, frozen cob, long-life vacuum-sealed cobs and fresh cobs.

The United States and Japan have been the most important growth areas for Australian exporters. Significant recent developments in this sector have been:. Kernel products are the most popular processed lines, with frozen whole cob and cobett products expected to improve their market share. Kernel characteristics, both visual and internal, are also taken into account during cultivar assessment and factory intake.

Baby corn is harvested and processed by hand from cobs while very young. Harvesting takes place usually at or within 2 days of silks emerging. Cob size is usually 4—10 cm long and 1—1.

The production of baby corn is very labor-intensive, and investigations into mechanisation of harvesting and processing are underway. Selecting the best cultivars for baby corn production is important.

Factors considered when selecting a cultivar include high cob numbers, disease resistance, high yield, good row arrangement and a strong yellow cob colour. Both su and sh2 types are used. Sweet corn for the fresh market has traditionally been grown in major vegetable production areas close to wholesale markets.

Inland processing crop areas also produce for the fresh market. The Sydney Market at Flemington is the major centre for marketing fresh produce in Australia. The supply of fresh corn to the Sydney Market has increased significantly each year as the popularity of supersweet corn rises.

Figure 3 shows the intake of sweet corn at the Sydney Market from — Containers used for fresh market sweet corn include: Half cartons: 18 L, 9 kg Cartons: 32 L, 18 kg Bags: 18 kg.

For up-to-date prices and details on deliveries to the Sydney Market previously known as Flemington Market , contact the Sydney Market Reporting Service on 02 orObservations by the Sydney Market Reporting Service show that supply can fluctuate with weather and competition from other marketing channels.

Figure 4 illustrates the fluctuations which can occur over a 1-year period. Information is available at the following links on the prices and throughput of sweet corn at the Sydney Market for the year and for the months January to July ofThis information has been compiled by Ausmarket Consultants from information collected by the Sydney Market Reporting Service:.

Plant in mid-August to mid-October, which is usually the cut-off date for disease-susceptible cultivars. Resistant cultivars can be planted until mid-February. In favourable seasons, harvesting can be extended into late May.

Sequential planting for the fresh market is usually planned to ensure a regular supply of cobs over an extended marketing period. In the Sydney Basin, foggy, misty mornings followed by bright, sunny days can predispose kernels to rupture, especially in some supersweet cultivars. Also, some newer cultivars may be susceptible to mosaic virus disease.

It is important to thoroughly research the features of a new cultivar before planting, and then trialling it in a small way before undertaking a larger commercial planting. Typical sowing times for inland fresh market crops are similar to those listed for processing production in Table 3. The introduction of supersweet extra sweet cultivars, both uniform golden yellow and the bicolour white—yellow cultivars, has created new local and export market opportunities.

On left Bicolour supersweet cultivars are popular in important Asian markets. On right The line-up of all-yellow kernel cultivars is increasing as supersweet types become more popular. In Australia, consumer surveys have shown that older generations prefer normal sweetness, and young generations prefer supersweets. Industry sources predict that per capita consumption of supersweets will increase.

Supersweets such as sh2 types offer improved keeping quality by maintaining their sweetness for a longer time after harvest. However, careful choice and local trialling of cultivars is important, as yield and cob quality can vary between cultivars and districts.

Compared with standard sweet corn cultivars su types that can lose their crispness and sweetness a few days after harvest, supersweet corn kernels contain more sugar and convert it to starch less rapidly.

Sh2 supersweet corn cultivars are less creamy than su sweet corn cultivars. Fresh sweet corn is highly perishable in hot weather. Growers, packers, market agents and retailers should use temperature probes to monitor pulp temperatures. Fresh corn is almost exclusively supersweet in the major markets. Presentation is important and buyers look for quality and evidence of good packing. Usually, there are 24 or 30 cobs with shanks trimmed in a 9 or 10 kg 18 L white polystyrene carton shown at right.

Growers can also use 15 kg bags or kg bins. Cobs need to have a short stalk and the husks should be fresh, clean and green. Prepacks of poly or microwaveable trays of 2—4 cobs per pack are also sold with 12 trays per 18 L cellopack carton. There should be no insect or disease damage. Complete kernel fill to the tip of cobs is important for appearance, and cobs must be uniform and a good size.

Most consumers buy on looks, and sweetness is not a priority. Supersweet consignments are, however, increasing in volume. Market promotion may change this trend. This has opened up new export development opportunities, especially in Japan where fresh packs and long-life vacuum packs are popular.

Bicolour and supersweet cultivars are preferred. However, buyer preferences can vary, and research of markets and product specifications is important.

An example of a gross margin for a Western Australian supersweet crop for fresh market export is shown in Table 5 and has been extracted from the Agriculture WA publication Vegetable Budgeting Handbook for the Manjimup District by P. Gartrell OctoberThe information is based on a 10 hectare operation. The price is based on prefreight, pregrading and prepackaging costs. Processors and fresh market buyers have specific characteristics they see as important.

Before planting, growers should ensure that the cultivar they have chosen meets market requirements. Cobs used for freezing need to look attractive with good colour and straight rows. The kernel should be tasty and have a thin, tender seed coat or pericarp.

Tillers or suckers on plants are not usually desirable, and plants should set cobs at least 60 cm high to make mechanical harvesting easier. If more than one cob is formed, it is best if the cobs mature at the same time. Husk cover should be sufficient to discourage insect attack but loose enough when processed to strip easily at the factory. Processors dislike cultivars with non-white silks, as these look unattractive in the canned product.

For the fresh market, it is particularly important for the cultivar to maintain its quality after cutting or harvesting, and a tight, attractive green-coloured husk is desirable. These are most commonly grown for processing. Typically, these corns have more vigorous seedling vigour than supersweets and also have a shorter harvest window of 2—5 days and shorter shelf life of 2—4 days, depending on growing conditions and post-harvest handling.

An increasing range of high-sugar cultivars are available and these are becoming more popular with consumers. Most popular as fresh market cultivars and increasingly of interest to processors, the seedlings of Supersweets are usually less vigorous because of low stored starch levels in the seed. Supersweets have a longer harvest window of 5—12 days and a shelf life of 4—10 days, depending on growing and post-harvest handling. In New Zealand, supersweets make up half of total production.

Laughnan at the University of Illinois first described a field corn with more sugar than normal sweet corn. This high-sugar corn grew from seed that was generally light in weight with a shrivelled appearance. The sh2 corns may also have a higher sugar content than a standard cultivar 7 days after harvest.

Top Rated in Lab Refractometers

Download App Now. Study Material. Edited book on Organic Farming-Brochure. Recommended ContentSexual Reproduction In Flowering Plants. Morphology Of Flowering Plants.

The refractometer is a cheap and effective way to take the guesswork out of growing, by giving you a scientific guide as to the health of your.

Measuring sugar levels in cherries using an infrared meter

Area of study: The present work was conducted during three successive seasons , and , being the first season a preliminary trial on 4-yr old grapes cultivated in two different soil types sandy and clay at two different locations, Egypt Abo Galeb, Giza governorate; EL-Mahala, Gharbia governorate. The mineral fertilizers used were ammonium sulfateThe natural rocks used were phosphate rockYield and fruit characteristics and leaf mineral content were determined. Main results : Using compost in combination with natural rocks enriched with NPK mobilization bacteria and mineral NPK enhanced leaf nutrients content and gave the highest yield and cluster weight. This mix also improved berries physical and chemical characteristics. Additional keywords: mineral fertilization; organic fertilizer; phosphate rock; feldspar.


The TSS value is defined as the amount of sugar and soluble minerals present in fruit and vegetables. The method for its determination by means of a hand refractometer is given below A refractometer is based on the principle of total refraction. The refractometer should be checked for accuracy before use.

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Refractometers (Brix Meters)

A refractometer is a simple instrument used for measuring concentrations of aqueous solutions. It requires only a few drops of liquid, and is used throughout the food , agricultural , chemical , and manufacturing industries. When light enters a liquid it changes direction; this is called refraction. Refractometers measure the degree to which the light changes direction, called the angle of refraction. A refractometer takes the refraction angles and correlates them to refractive index nD values that have been established.

If Plants Could Talk...About EC

My past life as a Scientist, will always be with me, and so I am embracing my inner nerd with our latest project. We talk about home grown food being tastier and healthier. This is mainly due to the assumption, that chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, used in large scale farming, are present in the food we buy from the supermarket. But what if it was more than that? What if food that we grew at home was actually packed full of more nutrients and minerals? Testing for nutritional values requires expensive, sophisticated equipment.

the standard hand-held refractometer to the hydrometer, Indices used to characterize sugar content and sweetness of horticultural.

Measuring internal maturity of citrus

The maturity of sugarcane depends upon following factors: i Temperature during the growth period. Herbicides Rotations. System of Training for Fruit Crops.

Horticulture International Journal

RELATED VIDEO: How to use a digital refractometer

Sugarcane is grown chiefly in the main season December - May in the entire State. The particulars in respect of each season are given below:. Special season : June - July Early season varieties are suitable for special season. All Districts except Kanniyakumari and Nilgiris.

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Hand Refractometer manufacturers & suppliers

Practical 3 - Determination of total Soluble Solids. Site news. PHTExercise Practical 3 - Determination of total Soluble Solids Aim: To determine the total soluble solids in fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products. Theory and Principle: Total soluble solids TSS are determined by means of brix hydrometers which measures the specific gravity or by using hand refractometer which measures refractive index. Brix is a measure of soluble solids only in case of pure sucrose solutions.

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Watch the video: How To Use A Refractometer For Brewing u0026 Distilling


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