Brix level of sap as first measure of quality
Check sap of leaf, petiole and fruit
The minimum goal is 12 brix 24/7 for the plant sap
Using a refractometer
Test everything you get your hands onto
- Plant sap – Leaf, stalk/stem, root, fruit
- Fruits and veggies
– Generally speaking (75%) the higher the brix the healthier the plant, the higher the yield, the fewer the insects and diseases, the higher the nutritional value.
- 25% is operator error, dehydration, inappropriate test site
– If you follow the Albrecht program, that is a great start from chemical to biological farming.
If you stop there, you will hit a wall and will fail to get the brix readings to come up to 12 or above at the weakest point in the plant.
Refractometer and Food Quality
Refractometer calibrated to % brix with refractive index of sucrose as the standard
Sugar production is the fundamental purpose of photosynthesis
75% of the time, higher brix correlates to higher nutritional level in the plant/crop
25% there is dehydration, operator error, aberrancy purely in looking at brix of one part of plant: sweet corn ear v. stalk
Learn some basic chemistry: H2O is not H2O2 any more than CH3OH is (CH3)2OH
Fundamentals of Brix
Plant growth is about taking CO2 and H2O in the presence of a plant and sunlight and generating SUGAR, NOT protein, NOT fiber, NOT anything other than SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR.
This SUGAR is then CONVERTED to everything you call “crop” and harvest. The lower the sugar the less the YIELD.
Measure sugar with a refractometer and get a reading in BRIX.
Historical Use of Brix
Brix is used in the food industry for measuring the approximate amount of sugars in fruit juices, wine, soft drinks and in the sugar manufacturing industry. Different countries use the scales in different industries; in the UK brewing is measured with specific gravity X 1000, European brewers use Plato degrees, and US industries use a mix of specific gravity, Brix, degrees Baume and Plato degrees.
For fruit juices, one degree Brix is about 1-2% sugar by weight. This usually correlates well with perceived sweetness.
Since Brix is related to the concentration of dissolved solids (mostly sucrose) in a fluid it is therefore related to the specific gravity of the liquid. Because the specific gravity of sucrose solutions is well known, it can also be measured by refractometers.
Ref: Brix History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brix