The GERBER Test for dairy FAT analysis in Milk, & Cream is recognised worldwide and is the basis for numerous national and international standards such as ISO 2446, IDF 105 & BS696.
The Procedure –
The procedure involves measuring a specified amount of dairy product into the Butyrometer, and adding concentrated Sulphuric Acid(to dissolve the non-fat milk solids) and Amyl Alcohol to aid the separation of fat and aqueous phases. Water is added where necessary to bring the liquid levels to a point where the fat level is on the scale. The addition of the sulphuric acid causes the temperature of the mixture to increase and the fat to liquefy, additional warming in a water bath is occasionally necessary to effect complete liquefying of the fat and also the solubilisation of the non-fat solids. The mixture is centrifuged in a special Gerber centrifuge for a set time at 1100 rpm, and then the tubes are placed in a water bath to standardize the samples before the fat reading is read off the calibrated scale of the butyrometer.
Concentrated sulphuric acid is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid. Sulphuric acid at a high concentration can cause very serious damage upon contact, since not only does it cause chemical burns via hydrolysis, but also secondary thermal burns through dehydration. It can lead to permanent blindness if splashed onto eyes and irreversible damage if swallowed.
LABTEK Services can now supply its customers with a Safety Shaker for the Gerber Test which reduces significantly the risk of sulphuric acid burns to the user.
- The Safety shaker is handmade from acrylic PMMA which provides a transparent, lightweight and shatter resistant product suitable for the busy laboratory.
- The LABTEK Safety Shaker has places for up to 12 Gerber Butyrometers, the places have been sized to restrict the movement of the butyrometer when inside the shaker and has protective matting at the base to reduce any damage to glassware.
- The Acrylic PMMA lid fits tightly over the stand creating a space in which any spillages will be collected and can be handled safely.