YSI Biochemistry Analyser Means Major Savings for Potato Growers

The YSI range of Biochemistry Analysers is seeing a remarkable growth in applications; industries as far afield as jet fuels and pet food manufacturing have come to appreciate the unique features it can offer.

Thanks to the proprietary enzyme technology it has become possible to measure simultaneously two different compatible ‘chemistries’ from a wide range – glutamine, glutamate, glucose, dextrose, sucrose, xylose, lactate, lactose, methanol, ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol – simply and efficiently on a machine with an intuitive interface that requires little operator training.

These features have now been recognised by potato growers and snack manufactures who are carrying out ‘in-house’ testing of potato carbohydrate levels, saving thousands of pounds in costly diagnostic lab reports and spoiled crops. It is vital for growers to monitor the breakdown of complex carbohydrates to simpler sugars that occurs during storage of the harvested potato.

Higher simple sugar content results in a darker cooked potato product, while the consumer’s preference is for a lighter coloured snack. Hitting the optimum storage time is therefore a high priority, which in the past has meant expensive, and repeated, testing by independent laboratories. Now, thanks to the ease of use of YSI’s 2700 and 2900 Biochemistry analysers, important decisions about storage, shipping and manufacture can be made quickly without waiting for the return of costly reports.

The methodology is particularly clever: an enzyme for the substrate of interest, packaged in different modules, is present between two different membranes, one of cellulose acetate and the other of polycarbonate. When the substrate is oxidised in the presence of the enzyme, small bubbles of hydrogen peroxide are produced that penetrate the cellulose membrane and cause a platinum electrode to produce a current proportional to the substrate concentration.

Simple and ingenious, the method is safe, requires no water and produces no toxic compounds. It is thus ideal for any number of companies in different situations, with different facilities, and to different ends. The one thing in common is that they want fast and reliable results and they certainly get that with YSI’s Biochemistry Analysers – Biochemistry analyser-u-like one might say. At this rate YSI could soon be a blue ‘chip’ player.