In pursuit of the perfect pickled egg

Purely Pickled Eggs Ltd

National Measurement Laboratory at LGC
Round 3

Purely Pickled Eggs Ltd specialise in the development and production of a range of different flavours of pickled eggs.

The aim of the project is to introduce a new measurement technique to monitor vinegar stability, improve control management and reduce inconsistencies in quality.

Successful completion of the project would mean that the business is able to: * introduce improved measurement at key stages of the pickling process to efficiently and effectively manage quality controls * analyse the propensity for long term consistency of the pickled product This will result in improved operational processes and longer batch production runs therefore enabling the business to enter larger markets as well as guiding new flavour development.

Vinegar is the result of a complex inter-relationship between a raw material, sugar, alcohol, yeast, bacteria and oxygen to produce acetic acid.

This is a chemically volatile product that is controlled through the measurement and analysis of its level of pH and level of acidity.

However with the addition of the flavourings and infusing, processing and storage phases involved in production the properties of vinegar can become altered.

This has implications for the cosmetic and structural quality of the final product with evidence of cloudiness, deposits and egg disintegration.

The project will focus on improving measurement tools that will efficiently and effectively analyse the impact of re-introduction of raw material, sugar, alcohol, yeast, bacteria and oxygen during the production process upon the stability of the vinegar solution.

Measurement of common elements used in all processes will be facilitated alongside fingerprint analysis of elements that are specific to each flavour.

The project will include cross validation of the effects of the processing of the vinegar on the pH of the final product (such as addition of flavourings and heating) and analyse whether the pH measurements correlate effectively with acidity levels.

The data generated will enable us to improve the stability of the pickling solution and reduce inconsistencies to arrive at refined operational guidelines.

The project will also determine how the improved measurement tool can be employed as standard within the production process going forward in order to achieve accuracy and precision in an efficient manner.

This is an innovative project in that it aims to refine measurement tools for managing previously uncontrolled inconsistencies common to the wider pickling community, providing real competitive advantage.

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