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The current AOCS Automated method of assessing the color of refined fats and oils requires that the oils are visually free of turbidity (particulates and moisture), because the clarity of the oil affects the color result. They require the user to do a visual assessment prior to doing an automatic filter selection determination.
Turbidimeters are instruments that can objectively determine clarity of oils and Spectrophotometers can provide objective color results using cell pathlengths of 10mm to 20mm that correlate with current 5.25in cells.
Advances in instrument design such as the Vista enable a user to prepare a single sample and record both Turbidity and Color from a single measurement. These instruments remove the subjectivity inherent in human eyesight from the inspection process resulting in more complete and more consistent reporting year after year.
Color is one of the most vital indicators of quality and freshness for many products in the food industry, including sugar. Consumers depend on color and appearance before using sugar because these are the few product properties visible to the human eye. While consumers rely on sugar color for acceptability, food processors depend on it to meet processing and quality control standards during refinement.
What Is Color Consistency?
Color consistency involves measuring the differences in chromaticity between two colors. In food processing, this procedure can include comparing a product's color to a chart or another color standard. Chromaticity is critical because it indicates a product's actual color without considering brightness or the effect light has on the product's surface.
Why Color Consistency Is Important in the Sugar Industry
Processing companies make sugar by extracting juice from sugar cane or sugar beet plants. These companies can produce various sugar colors and grades by adjusting the molasses and using variations in drying, cleaning and crystallizing. The amount of molasses in the crystals is the primary determining factor of sugar color, influencing the product's appearance and taste perception.
The more processing sugar undergoes, the more it loses color. Companies must carefully monitor color throughout the refining process to maintain consistent levels of flavor while meeting required industry standards.
If you work in the biopharmaceutical industry, you’re likely familiar with the concept of light and color measurement and the equipment used in these processes — radiometers, spectrometers, spectroradiometers and spectrophotometers. While all four instruments are used to detect light and energy, they vary widely in their capabilities, applications and intended purposes. It’s important to know and understand the differences between these instruments to determine which one will adequately serve your needs.
What Is a Radiometer?
A radiometer measures the electromagnetic energy present in a wavelength range. This instrument is typically used to detect and quantify energy outside the visible light spectrum and measure infrared and ultraviolet light. The radiometer begins by measuring the incoming current or voltage, then corrects the signal to create a calibrated light level measurement. With this information, the meter provides one reading for all wavelengths of light that reach the sensor.
Pros and Cons of Radiometers
Radiometers are inexpensive and portable, making them a cost-effective and practical choice. This instrument can eliminate troublesome UV energy and detect and measure heat energy on surfaces. It also has one sensor that allows it to quickly measure intended wavelengths. However, radiometers cannot identify emitted wavelengths or their individual amplitude.
What Is a Spectrometer?
Spectrometers detect and measure wavelengths using numerous sensors and an optical grating or prism to break down the energy into components. Like a camera, spectrometers take a snapshot of the light and create an image depicting the output. They let in the light, break down the signal and spread it across a sensor range. This sensor separates the wavelengths and scales it based on incoming signal amplitude and sensor sensitivity.
Color accuracy and consistency are absolutely essential in birth control pills. That’s because many types of birth control pills are color coded based on how much active hormone they contain. This unique color coding system helps birth control users distinguish between the different types of pills in the packet and encourages medication adherence; users can look at both the color and the order of the pills to ensure that they’re taking them as prescribed.
However, if a pharmaceutical company accidentally places these pills in the wrong order, or they fail to test for color consistency in their products, these mistakes could have serious consequences for the manufacturer and the user alike.
For this reason, pharmaceutical companies need to have reliable color quality control protocols in place when they color code their birth control pills. A state-of-the-art spectrophotometer can help you catch potential problems early, ensuring that your birth control pills are consistent in color from batch to batch. By making color quality control a priority, you can produce birth control pills that are effective and easy for your customers to use consistently every day.
Why Birth Control Pills Come in Different Colors
The primary reason birth control pills often come in different colors is that color-coding makes it easier for users to see which pills contain active hormone and which are placebos. Most manufacturers create a 28-day birth control regimen—the first three weeks’ worth of pills contain the hormones estrogen or progestin, while the last week of pills contains no hormones at all. While not all birth control pills follow this 28-day cycle, this is the most common birth control regimen.
Typically, in this type of regimen, manufacturers use two very different colors to make it clear which pills contain active hormones and which pills are placebos. Color coding encourages birth control users to take their pills consistently and in order; rather than skipping a week worth of pills every month, users take seven colorful placebo pills instead.
However, for this process to work effectively, manufacturers must ensure that their placebo pills appear distinct in color compared to the active pills so that users don’t take the placebo at the wrong time.
The Risks of Incorrect Color in Oral Contraceptives
Consistent color in birth control pills isn’t just a matter of aesthetics; if the pills in a packet are placed in the wrong order, or the active pills are too close in color to the placebo pills, your customers will have a difficult time distinguishing one pill from another, putting them at risk for unwanted pregnancy and health complications.
For example, one birth control manufacturer recently recalled a large batch of product because the pills were placed out of order; the manufacturer accidentally placed the maroon-colored placebo pills at the start of the pack, when these pills should have been placed at the very end. If a user had taken the maroon-colored row of pills first, they would have been left without contraceptive protection and potentially compromised their health.
Users of this brand of birth control pills were able to notice this mistake precisely because the color of the placebo pills differed from the color of the active pills. If the two types of pills had been the same color, neither the user nor the manufacturer would have caught the problem. As such, accurate coloration can have significant protective benefits while color errors can seriously compromise patients’ adherence ability; without a clear distinction between the placebo pills and the active pills, users may not know which pill to take even when numbered correctly. You can prevent this problem by using a spectrophotometer designed to measure the color of pills and tablets.
The Benefits of the Aeros for Birth Control Pill Analysis
Pharmaceutical companies face different color quality control challenges depending on the type of birth control pills they manufacture. Each regimen can benefit from the advanced features of HunterLab’s Aeros spectrophotometer.
Since color influences product quality, safety and costs, consistency is important, establishing the need for international color standards. Certified color standards are composed of electrophotographic reflectance data that combines a master electronic standard and visual reference to ensure consistent colors across materials.
International Color Standards
There are several color standard charts for reference:
RGB: The red, green, blue (RGB) color standard is the color display for LCD screens, CRT monitors and plasma displays.
CMYK: The cyan, magenta, yellow, key (CMYK) color standards are used for printing since the RGB standard cannot create black.
Pantone: Pantone color standards are vibrant, solid colors that can be converted to RGB or CMYK when necessary.
USDA: USDA color standards help agriculture professionals decide when produce should be picked and how it should be graded. Food processors also use these standards for food processing and packaging.
Yellow is a bright, cheerful color that elicits feelings of happiness and positivity. The color was used predominantly in ancient art and is sacred in many religions. Let’s take a look at the history and meaning of the color yellow.
Facts About the Color Yellow
Here are some facts about the color yellow:
Taxis and school buses are yellow because the color is highly visible.
Yellow is considered a lucky color in China.
The word “yellow” comes from the Old English term for yellow, “geolu.”
Yellowtail is a specific fish species that has a yellow tail or body.
The History of the Color Yellow
Yellow is one of the oldest colors in history, seen in cave paintings over 17,000 years old. The yellow pigment from ochre was readily available in prehistoric times and one of the first pigments used in cave art. Yellow is also a common color in paintings from Ancient Rome and Egypt, where it was used to depict skin color.
Renaissance and Medieval artists used “Indian yellow” — a pigment obtained when a cow eats only mango leaves. This color was used to show a person as an outsider, especially Judas Iscariot from the Bible.
What Is the Meaning of the Color Yellow?
In ancient religions, yellow was a sacred color. Yellow, like gold, was seen as eternal, imperishable and indestructible. Many religions worshipped the sun, and the sun gods were depicted wearing yellow. The Ancient Egyptians believed the gods had gold skin and bones and used yellow for their skin tone in art. Yellow is also an important color in Buddhism, signifying humility.
Humans have a strong connection to the color red. As the color of blood and fire, it’s integral to life. Red is also a primary color that can create many other colors in the spectrum. Over time, the color red has taken on several meanings across cultures. Let’s look further into the history, meaning and facts of this bold color.
Facts About the Color Red
Here are a few facts about the color red:
Red is the first color babies can see after black and white.
Because red grabs attention, it’s used to warn people of danger. That’s why it’s on stop signs, traffic lights and fire engines.
Kings in the Middle Ages wore red to display their God-given right to the throne.
In fashion, the designer brand Christian Louboutin is known for its red-soled shoes.
The History of the Color Red
More than 40,000 years ago, hunters and gatherers used red clay to make paint. The Paleolithic people buried their dead with red powder for protection from evil spirits. Red is also common in ancient art, with cave paintings across continents created by red ochre. Ancient Romans favored cinnabar for decorations, and Renaissance painters used vermilion paint.
What Is the Meaning of the Color Red?
The color red is significant in many cultures. It is associated with love in Western culture, and it symbolizes good fortune and joy in Asian cultures. For this reason, it’s a prominent color in Asian weddings to bring love, fertility and good luck.
Many world leaders have worn red to symbolize their power. Princess Elizabeth I wore a red dress and coif in her portrait to symbolize political and moral strength. In Chinese philosophy, red is associated with fire and connected to aggression, confidence and leadership.