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Pharmaceutical Liquid Color Measurement

Pharmaceutical liquids include solutions, syrups and mixtures and are commonly used by patients that have difficulty swallowing medicines, as well as in easier to swallow gel caps. From cough syrup to cold medicines, these products are often times packaged to be visible to the consumer as a key enticement to drive purchases. Major brands around the world understand the importance of ensuring appealing colors of their products as color closely relates to a consumers perception of flavor and performance. HunterLab offers the broadest range of solutions for the Pharmaceutical industry, from instrument and software to sample handling fixtures, to ensure consistent and accurate color measurements for every sample, every time.

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    Your liquid sample type will dictate the proper measurement instrument and technique according to the HunterLab guidelines set forth below:

    Opaque Liquids are impenetrable by light, and are best measured using Directional 45°/0° reflectance geometry. This is the geometry that most closely matches how the human eye 'sees' color.

    Translucent Liquids allow light to pass through, but only diffusely, so that objects on the other side cannot be clearly distinguished. Both reflective and transmittance measurement modes may work well depending on the translucency of the sample.  As a rule of thumb,

    • - If at the path length that your customer will view the sample, you can see slight details of your thumb or finger through the liquid, then transmittance is the preferred measurement method.

    • - If you cannot see slight details, then reflectance measurement using directional 45°/0° is preferred, though it is also possible to use diffuse d/8° sphere geometry.

    Path length is defined as the thickness of the sample from where the light enters to where it exits the sample. A simple test to determine the translucency is to pour the liquid into a clear container that simulates the thickness that the sample will normally be viewed, and hold your thumb on the back of the container and look through the sample.

    Transparent Liquids allow light to pass through with little or no interruption or distortion so that objects on the other side can be clearly seen. These liquids can only be measured using transmission instrumentation.

  • Many HunterLab spectrophotometers have the versatility to accommodate most applications of color measurement. However, based on 60+ years of experience and a thorough understanding of our customers' needs and product use, these particular instruments are most suited for this industries application.

    If you are unsure which instrument type is right for your samples, please call or email HunterLab technical support and we will be happy to assist you in making the proper instrument selection.