Moisture Analysis – A Close-up Look

Moisture content is an important quality control criterion across the board and relates to establishing or conforming to specified levels of moisture in a product.  Correct moisture levels are established by government, trade and professional organizations and relate to the percentage of water and other liquids in a product.  Therefore, moisture analysis, can be viewed as first establishing recommended moisture content then checking to confirm that products meet the criterion during and after processing prior to packaging.

All of us experience the impact of incorrect moisture content.  Salt and sugar, for example, absorb moisture from the air and cake up.  Crispy potato chips quickly get gummy on humid picnic days.  Portland cement will turn into a block if left unsealed in the garage.

On the other side, when you buy a product by weight you don’t want to pay for excess water.  If water is intentionally added to a product … Read the rest

A Vaccine Refrigeration Specification Guide     

Vaccine Refrigeration - 10 Essential Items to Consider
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Proper vaccine refrigeration is not a hit-or-miss proposition.  Each year there are reports on how improper vaccine storage or other mishaps relating to vaccines result in loss of potency.  This necessitates locating and revaccinating those who have received compromised inoculations plus the associated cost and inconvenience.  Proper vaccine storage is also a critical element for complying with government-funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) programs.

Vaccine manufacturers are careful to note the proper storage temperatures for their products along what is called the cold chain of custody between manufacturing and inoculation.  But manufacturers have little influence on the equipment used by healthcare facilities to maintain these temperatures.  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has stepped into this by issuing its 2016 Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit to provide comprehensive information on this vital activity.    The Toolkit also covers in detail the importance of staff training and written standard … Read the rest

A Guide to Selecting and Operating Ultrasonic Cleaners

How one selects an ultrasonic cleaner involves several points to consider and resolve before putting your money down. Today’s ultrasonic cleaners range from small benchtop or tabletop units with simple on-off switches to highly sophisticated cleaners with adjustable or controllable operating parameters that allow them to perform multiple cleaning tasks.

Cleaning solution capacities can range from under one gallon for small applications to hundreds of gallons capable of cleaning automotive, marine and aircraft engines. Cleaning solution chemistries  are available in many, many formulations.  Formulations should be carefully selected (and maintained) to provide optimum cleaning performance based on what is being cleaned and the nature of contaminants being removed.

These and other important considerations on selecting and operating ultrasonic cleaners are presented in our article published by Cleanzine on August 11, 2016.… Read the rest

How to Check Pump System Accuracy for HPLC Analysis

Pump system accuracy is crucial for equipment used to conduct high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis in the pharmaceutical and other industries subject to regulatory oversight by the FDA and similar authorities. Among functions performed by HPLC are included checks for purity, monitoring changes in pharmaceutical intermediates during chemical synthesis scale-up, stability and dissolution tests, and performing ongoing quality control procedures.Digital HPLC Liquid Flow Meter At a GlanceClick to download PDF

A Brief on HPLC Analysis

Identifying an analyte by HPLC is based on accurate and reproducible column retention time as the analyte is pumped through an HPLC system.  Reproducible retention time is critical and depends on accurate, uniform, reproducible HPLC pump flow rates.

Note that it is important to distinguish between accuracy and precision.  These two terms may seem the same but they are not necessarily so.  For example, an HPLC system (or for that matter many other systems such as analytical scales) may … Read the rest

Selection and Operating Tips for Ultrasonic Cleaners

How to Select an Ultrasonic Cleaner

How you select an ultrasonic cleaner involves several points to consider and resolve before putting your money down.  Today’s ultrasonic cleaners range from small benchtop or tabletop units with simple on-off switches to highly sophisticated cleaners with adjustable or controllable operating parameters that allow them to perform multiple cleaning tasks.  Cleaning solution capacities can range from under one gallon for household or hobbyist applications to hundreds of gallons capable of cleaning automotive, marine and aircraft engines.

Cleaning solution chemistries as well are available in many, many formulations and should be carefully selected (and maintained) to provide optimum cleaning performance based on what is being cleaned and the nature of contaminants being removed.  Most of today’s popular ultrasonic cleaning solution formulations are available as water-based concentrates and are biodegradable.  These two features provide economies, simplify storage and reduce, if not eliminate, disposal concerns.  The problems and challenges associated with trichloroethylene and … Read the rest

How to Use Moisture Analyzers for Grain & Flour Quality Control

The KERN MRS moisture analyzer is a professional quality solution to measuring moisture in grains, flours and other food products.
A moisture analyzer is a professional quality solution to measuring moisture in grains, flours and other food products.

Moisture content, defined as the percentage of a product’s weight due to water, is an essential measure of quality control.  A gravimetric moisture analyzer is employed across a broad spectrum of industries to confirm that moisture content is in line with regulations governing a particular industry.

Agricultural products such as grains and the flour derived from grains provide an illustration of where a moisture analyzer is put into play.  A University of Minnesota Extension Report, for example, states that wheat and barley grain must have a moisture content of 13% to 14% for safe storage.  Achieving that target can be costly and time consuming in wet weather.  

When wheat is milled to flour another target applies. A study at the Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, reports … Read the rest

Stability Testing for Temperature and Humidity

Stability Testing for Temperature and Humidity

Stability testing is a critical part of drug and medicinal product development to determine the shelf life of such products under a variety of environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.  Family prescriptions likely have on their label a recommended “use by” date and notification if special storage conditions should be observed. The regulatory mandate for stability testing in the United States is contained in 21 CFR Part 211 Section 166.

Tests to determine storage requirements and shelf life for drugs and other medicinal products are taken under a variety of imposed and tightly controlled environmental conditions.  Because testing time can be extensive accelerated studies are permitted to support tentative expiration dates provided full shelf life studies are being conducted.

 

Temperature and Humidity Test Chamber Specs

Stability testing is performed in specially designed test chambers capable of duplicating a broad range of temperature … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cavitation vs. Air in an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaning procedures described in our posts nearly always call attention to the importance of degassing fresh cleaning solutions.  Degassing is the process of removing trapped air in liquids.  You can see this by letting a glass of water stand for awhile and note the bubbles that appear on the inside surface.  Trapped, entrained or dissolved, air inhibits cavitation, which is the implosion of micron-size vacuum bubbles that accomplish the cleaning.

Simply operating the equipment for a time, the length of which depends on the volume of cleaning solution, will drive off trapped air. The process can be hastened by a Degas mode on an ultrasonic cleaner. It does the job by switching on and off causing air bubbles to coalesce and allowing them rise to the surface and burst.

Removing Other Air in an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Air can be introduced into an ultrasonic cleaning solution when parts are immersed.  … Read the rest

The Role of a Moisture Analyzer in Manufacturing Fine Wood Furniture

The Kern MLB 50-3N Moisture analyzer from Tovatech is a valuable tool to confirm moisture content in wood.

If your antique family rocking chair or your wood dining chairs start to squeak and wobble chances are the humidity in your home is too low.   On the other hand, if you notice swelling or warping, the atmosphere may be too humid.   This is physical and visual evidence of the importance of moisture content to maintaining fine wood furniture.  It starts with manufacturing, which is why a moisture analyzer is often put to work to verify optimum moisture content before furniture is assembled.

Moisture and Wood

Newly cut wood may have a moisture content of 30%, meaning that 30% of its weight is water.  That’s why anyone splitting cordwood knows that it has to be seasoned before being burned, and that the wood is much lighter after a season in the open air than when it was freshly split.  Seasoning also applies to wood used in construction, and especially in … Read the rest

How to Safely Clean Fine Mesh Sieves

Safely cleaning fine mesh sieves means quickly and thoroughly removing trapped particles without damaging or deforming the sieve mesh.   Manual cleaning using brushes to dislodge particles has drawbacks that include potential damage to fine mesh and failure to achieve 100% particle removal.  The problem is solved by combining the Elma SRH 4/200 rotating sieve holder with a 37 kHz 7.5 gallon Elmasonic E 300H or S 300H ultrasonic cleaner*, all available from Tovatech.

 

Clean Four Sieves Simultaneously

The electrically powered SRH 4/200 module holds up to 4, 200-mm (8 inch) lab sieves clamped in a slightly canted position and rotates them into and out of the ultrasonic cleaning solution. Ultrasonic cavitation produced by the E or S 300H generator-powered transducers creates billions of minute bubbles that implode vigorously against the screen mesh to quickly but safely dislodge trapped particles.  Because the screens are canted particles fall to the bottom … Read the rest