Unit of measure: Brix

Brix (°Bx) is a unit of measure that is used by food technologists to measure the amount of sugar (sucrose) or water-soluble content dissolved in water. Water-soluble compounds (WSC) could include sugars (sucrose and fructans), oils, minerals, pectin, acids, proteins, lipids, amino acids, tannins, etc.

Brix scale is commonly used in the food industry for measuring the approximate amount of sugars in fruits, vegetables, juices, wine and soft drinks.

One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by mass. If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content.

The term Brix owes its name to its inventor Adolf Ferdinand Wenceslaus Brix, a 19th century German mathematician. He is credited with developing and expanding existing density tables using percent sucrose to correspond to solution density, recalculating the Balling tables and inventing the hydrometer, a device for measuring sugar content in solutions. Developed in 1843, Balling is the oldest scale used to measure dissolved solid concentrations, principally the sugar content of wort during brewing.

The Brix value can be assessed using the refractometer—a device used for the rapid and direct determination of °Bx. When light enters a liquid at an angle, it changes direction. This phenomenon is called refraction. Light will refract more when travelling through a liquid with dissolved or suspended solids. Therefore, refraction can be used to measure the concentration of dissolved or suspended solids within a solution.
Unit of measure: Brix

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