In simple terms, an aphrometer is a manometer for measuring the pressure in champagne and sparkling wine bottles. When the aging process is completed, a disgorgement process removes the sediment and then an aphrometer is used to check the pressure in the bottle. Traditional cork and crown cap aphrometers make invasive measurements, typically in the 0 to 10 bar range, by removing or piercing the bottle’s wire-hood and the cork to check the pressure.
In contrast, more recently implemented optical technology using lasers allows non-contact measurements. For example, LPRO’s L.sensor.CO2 measures the total pressure and partial CO2 pressure inside sealed wine bottles and calculates dissolved CO2.
The technique takes advantage of the fact that certain molecules, when in the gaseous state, have a particular and unique frequency where they absorb light. This allows an optical method to measurement of the presence and quantity of a specific gas.
Using a tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) technique, a laser emits a beam at a specific frequency on one side of the bottle and a receiver measures the beam after it has passed through the headspace of the container. For aphrometers, patented technology gives the in-situ approach the ability to perform the measurement independent of the color or material of the bottle. The non-contact system easily allows testing of bottles stored over long periods of time.
The company also offers a second aphrometer model that measures the CO2 and the O2 enabling gas sensing to be used in other parts of the food and pharmacy industries.
TDLAS is also being used for dynamic measurements.