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Latest article on the blog

Measuring pH in shampoo

Published 18. December 2015

Shampoo is a hair care product used for removal of dirt, dandruff, skin particles, oils and other contaminated particles.

As the scientists behind hair care progressed, manufacturers synthesized chemical additives for use in shampoo as fragrance, foaming agents, and colored dyes. Shampoo is now created and structured towards various hair types, as well as to achieve a certain end result, such as the reduction of dandruff or greasy hair. Both the synthetic and natural ingredients used in a shampoo dictate the pH of that particular product. The pH of a shampoo will alter the natural pH of skin and hair, which ideally falls between pH 3 and 5 and pH 4 and 5, respectively, thereby affecting their physical and chemical makeup.

Read more...

Monitor the Content of Sodium Chloride in Olive Brine

Published 22. September 2015

Olives have been coveted throughout history for both as an edible fruit and the health beneficial oil that is pressed from them. The edible olive has been cultivated for at least 5,000 years and today is one of the most widely cultivated fruits in the world. Olives, however, require an extensive curing process to go from the tree to the table.

olive brine

Edible olives, also known as table olives, are classified into three groups according to the degree of ripeness at time of harvest:

  • green olives, picked when they have obtained full size, but before the ripening cycle has begun;
  • semi-ripe olives, picked at the beginning of the ripening cycle when the color has begun to change from green to reddish brown;
  • ripe olives, picked at full maturity and are typically shades of black and brown.

The curing process of olives

When raw olives are picked from the tree, they are hard and very bitter due to the presence of harsh phenolic compounds. The curing process assures these unpalatable phenolic compounds are leached out and broken down; the process is also responsible for generating favorable metabolites from bacteria and yeast such as organic acids, probiotics, glycerol, and esters. Raw olives are traditionally cured by soaking in a brine solution for 6 to 12 months, during which time the solution is periodically changed. The unwanted bitter phenolics leach into the brine solution, while the solution itself acts to soften the skin of the olives.

The duration of the curing process can be decreased by first soaking the raw olives in a dilute lye solution, typically composed of 2 to 4% sodium hydroxide (NaOH) for 1 to 3 days. The lye solution acts to rapidly remove bitter phenolics before transferring the olives into a brine solution. If the lye solution is utilized in the beginning of the curing process, olives only require soaking in the brine solution for as little as a few weeks.

The concentration of the brine solution

Brine solution consists of water, salt, and occasionally oil; the concentration of the brine solution depends on the type of olive being cured, and the point at which it is used in the curing process. If too little salt is present in the brine solution, there is a risk of unwanted bacterial growth while olives are soaking. Conversely, too much salt can over soften the olive skins.

Green olives typically start soaking in a brine solution consisting of 10 to 14% sodium chloride (NaCl) while ripe olives start in a brine solution of 8 to 10% NaCl. Salt is absorbed into the olive skins during curing, causing the salt concentration in the brine tank to decrease and eventually stabilize. If the salt concentration drops below a certain threshold, typically 4 to 6% NaCl, more salt must be added.

After curing is completed, olives are rinsed with clean water and then packed in jars containing 8 to 11% NaCl saline solution.

Quick and accurate way to monitor the salt content of your brine tanks

hi96821

 

Are you an olive producer, who is looking for a quick and accurate way to monitor the salt content of your brine tanks? Hanna Instruments recommends the use of HI96821 Sodium Chloride Refractometer. With the HI96821 you will have a choice of units that include the desired units of g NaCl/100 mL solution, as well as a wide measurement range of 0.0 to 34.0 g NaCl/100 mL with a resolution of 0.1 g/100 mL. The meter also has the one-point calibration with deionized water and fast 1.5 second response time that allows a quick assessment of the conditions of your brine tanks and make real-time corrections if necessary.

Click here for more information

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