Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy

  • Lovibond® Colour Control of Food, Powders, Cosmetics, Pastes and Turbid Liquids

Lovibond® Colour Control of Food, Powders, Cosmetics, Pastes and Turbid Liquids

Jul 17 2017 Read 747 Times

Colour measurement is valued throughout the supply chain in many industries. Controlling the colour of incoming materials enables producers to reject any that are substandard before off-loading and during processing, facilitating significant cost savings on rejected goods. Applications are varied: incoming inspection of ingredients; controlling the colour of toppings; even determining the accuracy of the colour of sauces. Colour measurement also guarantees that the final colour satisfies consumers' expectations.

An end user may not consciously notice the colour of food, powders, cosmetics, pastes and liquids unless the colour seems to appear differently to usual. Then, suddenly, the colour is all important. As soon as a colour difference is perceived, an unconscious signal is received implying that ‘different’ means ‘not as good’. Colour changes are to be avoided at all costs, a responsibility that usually lies with the quality control (QC) manager well before any product reaches the consumer.

Relying on the human eye is unpredictable. A person’s perceptions and interpretations of colour and colour comparisons are highly subjective. Fatigue, age, gender (up to 1 in 12 men (8%) suffer from colour deficiency) and other physiological factors can influence colour perception. Furthermore, colours are usually described by descriptive words such as: white; red; green; light; bright and dull. However, each person verbally describes and, therefore, defines colour differently. As a result, objectively communicating a particular colour to someone without some type of physical or reference standard is difficult. Describing the precise colour difference in words between two ingredients is very challenging.

The Lovibond® LC 100 / SV 100 Hand-Held Spectrocolorimeter combination is the ideal solution for the versatile communication of colour measurement and communication, particularly when it comes to measuring wet and dry samples including powders, pastes, sauces and turbid liquids.

Stand-alone, the LV 100 is a very portable, quick yet accurate tool for colour measurement. This colorimeter enables setting and maintaining colour standards throughout the manufacturing process. It is a lightweight tool that is easy to handle and ready to use. In just over a second, it not only provides a reading of the sample but also a report telling how close the colour is to a measured standard. Users can create and measure against up to 30 self-programmable standards with a default average valuing of 3. The LC 100 automatically creates conformance reports in either PDF or Excel formats for each stored sample against each standard. These can easily be shared with a PC or directly to a compatible printer (via USB mass storage mode).

Test results are easily viewed with:

Graphical Pass/Fail indicator

Display of ΔE for all common methods ie CIELAB, CMC, CIE 94, 2000

Display of measured and delta differences with L*a*b*C*h° for standard and sample

Graphical L*a*b* plot

Verbal colour difference description

However, it is the precision-designed Lovibond® accessory kit that makes it so flexible. By housing the colorimeter in a uniquely designed stand, samples can be read at an ergonomic viewing angle, enabling the measurement of ‘awkward’ substances in Lovibond® optical cells. The SV 100 is a combined kit neatly supplied in a single case containing the LC 100, the stand and cap and 10 Lovibond® 10ml cells. The secure cap was specifically designed to provide a tight fit, enabling the sample to be completely covered and protected from any excessive ambient light, allowing quick yet accurate readings. The instrument is now ideal for the colour measurement of food, powder, cosmetics, pastes, pharmaceuticals and turbid liquids.

To date, measuring the colour of these samples has been awkward. The samples either require protection from physical contact or presentation behind glass which distorts their actual state. Alternatively, for accurate measurements, several different instruments needed to be used depending on the sample to be measured. This can prove expensive for any laboratory technician. The Lovibond® SV 100 solution overcomes these issues, offering an alternative option to reduce the technical difficulty and cost of Colour Quality Control.

In China, the SV 100 is being utilised to verify the quality of dairy products. One of the country’s major milk suppliers trialled the product to establish if it would be applicable for their needs. Based on the speed of results, its ease of use and the price-performance ratio, they qualified it as the perfect solution. The LC 100 / SV 100 kits are now deployed in their factories’ locations across the region.

In South East Asia, the LC 100 / SV 100 is also being deployed in applications as diverse as chocolate manufacturing, ceramic coatings, cosmetics and education (Korea), beverages (Singapore and The Philippines) and the production of milk powder (Thailand).

For further information, visit Email

Tel. +44 (0)1980 664800 : Fax. +44 (0)1980 625412

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