Measuring Food Quality with a Brix Meter (refractometer)
April 17, 2008 Larry Howard
Bloomington Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation
Brix – What is it?
°Brix is the ratio of Total Soluble Solids (TSS) to water in solution
25° Bx = 25% TSS by weight (e.g. 25 grams of solids to 75 grams of water)
The “sap”or juice squeezed from the leaves of plants contains mostly sugar molecules but also smaller amounts of minerals, amino acids, vitamins, plant hormones, and proteins.
Brix – How is it measured?
A refractometer – a device with a prism, a numeric scale and an eyepiece a 2-3 drops of plant juice are squeezed onto the prism and a demarcated line is viewed on the scale
Higher Brix – higher nutrient density (assumption)
Higher Brix – better taste (widely acknowledged)
Higher Brix – resistance to rotting
Higher Brix – resistance to disease
Higher Brix – resistance to frost
Higher Brix – Higher Quality!
(Useful Link: http://www.tandjenterprises.com/brix_equals_quality.htm)
Plant hydration – a heat stressed plant, hot windy conditions, or dehydrated plant sample can affect results
dehydration of the plant or the sample leads to false high readings
Temperature – calibration at 68° F
theoretically, higher temps → lower reading, lower temp → higher reading
Fruits/veg from different sources
Same produce, fresh vs. aged
Same plant, different times of day
Same plant, differing weather conditions
Different plant varieties
“Skins-on” vs. Skins Off