New device measures grapes’ brix levels in field

10/02/2012 01:46:00 PM
Andy Nelson

grapes A South African company has created a device that makes it easier for grape growers to measure brix levels in the field.

The patented Brixmaster, made by Western Cape-based Prospective Innovations CC, is used in the field by laborers and relies on specific gravity to measure brix levels.

Before the Brixmaster, growers relied on refractometers or, in the field, on the old-fashioned “taste it” method, said Prospective’s David Harris.

The Brixmaster is easy to use and costs less than a tenth of a refractometer, he said.

The higher the sugar level, the higher a grape’s specific gravity, Harris said. Within seconds, the Brixmaster will indicate if a grape is above or below a desired level.

Pickers attach the Brixmaster to their waists with a belt clip. To operate it, they put a grape into the Brixmaster. If it floats in the unit’s calibration solution, the sugar content is too low. If it sinks, the grape is sweet enough to be picked.

Comments (8) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

WA  |  October, 03, 2012 at 10:35 AM

One grape at a time? That's not more efficient than cluster sampling, it sounds like a pain in the ...

San Joaguin Valley  |  October, 03, 2012 at 11:50 AM

However, the Afros may be on to something. Take it step further and it may be possible to deal with clusters. Hmm.

CA  |  October, 03, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Not to mention how fast the calibration solution will get contaminated.

October, 03, 2012 at 01:25 PM

The seeds, skin and pulp will contribute to the specific gravity also. I am thinking that this will be more useful for table grapes than wine grapes.

eric Miller    
PA  |  October, 03, 2012 at 05:29 PM

useless for a small premiium grower

October, 04, 2012 at 08:00 AM

There are some things worth expending innovation energy on. Replacing refractometers isn't one of them, IMO.

California  |  October, 09, 2012 at 06:22 PM

What happens in regards of the size of the grape? If I want to measure brix content of a small grape or a big grape? The size (mass) of the grape determines the sinking as well? What about multiple readings? an overall sugar "level" of the bunch? some will float and some will sink?

California  |  October, 09, 2012 at 06:30 PM


Feedback Form
Leads to Insight