Refractometers / Brix Meters
Refractometers (A.K.A Brix Meter)
Refractometers are a simple optical instrument that measures the amount of light refracted in a liquid. Refractometers measure on a "Brix" scale and measuring the Brix level of fruits and vegetables is very important because it is a great indicator of flavor and quality.
The higher the brix level of your fruits juices is, the higher the dissolved solids in the foods juices such as sucrose, fructose, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, hormones and all the other goodness that the plant puts into the food is. It is estimated that in a healthy fruit or vegetable, approximately 80% of the brix is represented by the natural sugars which give the food its great flavor and goodness. It is believed by many people to be the best indicator of quality available in one quick and simple test.
Refractometers are a standard piece of equipment for many Agronomists and is a standard tool used in the fruit and citrus industries. Juice factories and vineyards especially use refractometers so they can measure the level of flavors in the juices and blend them to consistent brix level every time. Many companies are also now offering big bonuses to farmers who can produce high brix fruits because it means they have to add less artificial sweetener to the juices which are devoid of any nutritional value (unlike natural sugars).
We hope that someday, every kitchen will have a refractometer so people can test the quality and nutrient density of the foods they are consuming.