Refractometers are optical instruments used to measure the refractive index of liquids, gases, and translucent solids. Refractive index, also called index of refraction, is the angle that a ray of light bends when passing from one medium into another. The refractive index can provide information for us about the behaviour of light. This can be interpreted in various ways across many industries. Most commonly these instruments are used to calculate the refractive index of a sample which provides information about the quality of a sample. This is often used as a quality control measure in the beverage industry. Refractometers are also used to measure salinity, fluid concentration, specific gravity, and blood protein and are used by a number of different industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, petroleum and chemical industries.
Types of Refractometers
There are three main types. Portable hand-held, Bench digital and Abbe which are commonly used in laboratory or industrial environments.