ADVANTAGES OF THE SINATECH DIONYSOS SYSTEM

Illustrative image of the advantages of Sinatech DIONYSOS

At Sinatech we accept the challenge of incorporating the most innovative enzymatic analysis technologies from a perspective closer to the economic and technical reality, and we believe that we can help boost the sector and cover this technological gap by contributing all our experience to offer an ideal platform to meet the real needs of oenological laboratories using both specific instruments and adapted reagents that represent the technological vanguard.

All technologies have evolved in recent years in a dizzying way incorporating elements that not long ago seemed unthinkable. Enzyme analyzers are no exception and thanks to these advances they have incorporated (and surpassed) features that were previously only available to the most complex and expensive systems. The DIONYSOS systems have been designed taking into account all these advances and have become the reference analyzer for the oenological laboratory:

  • HIGH WORK CAPACITY, with the possibility of continuous loading, urgent samples, new requests for techniques in the same session and a sufficient number of sample and reagent positions for any type of workload without the need to divide the work routine.

  • UNINTERRUPTED OPERATION thanks to the ability to automatically manage several bottles of the same reagent without user intervention and to a high efficiency and low consumption washing station that avoids replacing reaction rotors, keeping them in optimal condition for more than six months of normal use.

  • INTUITIVE SOFTWARE designed to be friendly and adapted to touch interfaces, without losing access to new exclusive functionalities (extensive database of samples on SQL engine, graphical representation of results, reaction curves in real time, quality control) and with capacity to connect with warehouse management software through HL7 interface.

  • TOP TECHNOLOGY in all its components: built-in degasser, thermostatted tips with nanomaterial coating and internal ultra-polishing, optical detectors with diffraction matrix, CCD sensor, independent modular electronics, high-precision ceramic pistons, reaction mixer… top brands worldwide and maximum durability that guarantee maximum precision in the analysis with the minimum consumption of reagents.

  • ADVANCED MANAGEMENT to support the laboratory in the control of the real consumption of reagents and calibration, quality management, the issuance of reports, to have all the information at all times, without requiring to load backup copies.

DIONYSOS systems are compact and easy to use, adapted to the usual needs of the oenological laboratory, whatever their size, and highly efficient. The system is completed with a wide range of reagents designed with ease of use and consumption in mind. All formulations are liquid, stable and mostly ready for use or with reagent preparation in a single step and with reduced consumption, following the procedures established by the OIV.

Illustrative image of the advantages of Sinatech DIONYSOS

For more than 10 years, Sinatech’s commitment to the winemaker has been working side by side to provide the most appropriate analytical solutions to the control and monitoring of the winemaking process. Automated methods easily adaptable to any work routine, with a personalized advisory team to help you quickly and smoothly implement.

Sinatech: TeamWork.

IS IT TIME TO UPDATE MY ANALYZER?

The question is: It is time to update my analyzer?

One of the important decisions that must be made from time to time in a laboratory is to renew existing systems to reduce operating costs due to increasingly frequent corrective maintenance or simply to take advantage of technological improvements that have appeared in recent years. With investment in instrumental systems possibly the most important category, having an element to assess the possible future savings involved in making the decision between renovating or maintaining.

  • Volume of work: It is possible that from the moment the existing equipment was purchased the laboratory load has shifted, possibly towards a greater volume of work. The ability to process the workload within the operational routine of the laboratory becomes a decisive factor. Instruments with a higher processing capacity (average in tests per hour) or with a higher walk-away capacity (measured in the number of sample or reagent positions available) make it possible to optimize the time available to technical personnel, increasing their productivity. An instrument with greater capacity to process increasing workloads would reduce the associated personnel costs, freeing technicians for other more intensive tasks in manual intervention without the need to hire personnel.
  • Consumption optimization: One of the most important technical improvements introduced in the latest generation analyzers refers to the lower consumption of reagents in each determination. This improvement is achieved by an improvement in the design of such important elements as the optical system, the sample needle, the fluidic system or the reaction cuvette, which can achieve improvements in reaction consumption of up to more than 50%. Some common instruments in testing laboratories were designed more than 15 years ago, and use up to 25% additional reagent to clean the needle to avoid carryover contamination; others, due to its optical design, do not allow working with volumes lower than 200 uL (when 150ul is usual in current systems); or, due to the imprecision associated with its fluid system, it cannot aspirate a sample volume lower than 3uL, forcing a higher reagent consumption. If we consider all these factors, we can find consumptions that reach, on average, up to 35% more than in a last generation system, so the change could mean that same percentage of savings in reagents.
  • Maintenance cost: All laboratory instruments need preventive maintenance and periodic calibrations to ensure their correct working order. These maintenances can become more frequent over time and include particularly expensive components subject to wear. From the simple change of a lamp to ensure sufficient light intensity, through the replacement of filters or replacement of cuvettes are common operations that are carried out every 12-24 months. Other less frequent operations include the replacement of peristaltic pump pistons or tubes due to wear, electronic board repairs that can be especially complex if the model in question is old or has been replaced by other more updated models by the original manufacturer. Some of them may be unnecessary if the analyzer has more efficient alternative systems (diffraction matrix instead of filters, ceramic pistons, sealed optical system, low-cost semi-permanent cuvettes).
  • New features: The initial automatic analyzers were essentially robotic systems whose main objective was to simplify the handling of reagents through a repetitive sequence; In doing so, it was possible to minimize random errors due to manipulation, improving the precision of the result. This advance was a very important step in improving the productivity of a laboratory, but it is currently insufficient if we want to get more out of our results. Thus, as the laboratory’s needs increased, especially in the metrological field, the analyzers had to introduce management support tools that allowed not only to control important aspects of the pre-analytical phase (identification of samples, more complex profiles, order of analyzes, pre-dilutions, etc.) and post-analytics (historical results and calibrations, internal quality control, inventory management, repetitions, general statistics, communication with external management systems, etc.). These tools are essential in case of using techniques subject to accreditation, or of wanting to perform analysis of groups of samples that meet certain characteristics in continuous improvement processes within the industry. Another clear field of improvement is in the management of the system itself, which takes advantage of the technological advances of computing itself: current computers allow the introduction of more powerful management programs that, without losing the comfort of use, simplify the preparation of work lists complex. Although it is difficult to assess the direct economic impact that these benefits may have, it is clear that they allow an improvement in productivity.
  • New techniques: Although automated analyzers are capable of performing many different tests, it is necessary that the reagents are suitably adapted to the specific characteristics of the instrument. As there is a technical evolution in the design of the instruments, the reagents must also be optimized to achieve the maximum performance in the instrument, both in terms of consumption and in terms of metrological performance. Sometimes this evolution is simultaneous and having a state-of-the-art analyzer is a guarantee of reagents specifically optimized for use with maximum performance, including options for use that were previously not available due to the system’s own limitations. By having the possibility of introducing these techniques in the laboratory itself, the costs of outsourcing these tests are reduced.

Sinatech offers the most advanced Dionysos system for agri-food analysis on the market, prepared to work under the most demanding conditions and with minimal reagent consumption. Benefit from all the technical advances aimed at achieving maximum precision and accuracy.

The question is: It is time to update my analyzer?

For more than 10 years, Sinatech’s commitment to the winemaker has been working side by side to provide the most appropriate analytical solutions to the control and monitoring of the winemaking process. Automated methods easily adaptable to any work routine, with a personalized advisory team to help you quickly and smoothly implement.

Sinatech: TeamWork.

SINATECH, AN INNOVATIVE COMPANY SPECIALIZED

Image of a Sinatech Dionysos 150 automated chemistry analyzer

Sinatech (Sinatech Analytical Systems SL) is a company created in 2019 by several professionals with extensive experience of more than 30 years in the world of in vitro diagnostics and agro-food analysis, with the intention of developing products for laboratories, mainly of the agri-food sector, and in particular, of oenological analysis.

The market for enzymatic systems in the agri-food sector is relatively young and provides relevant advantages in process control (especially simplicity and speed in the result) compared to official analysis methods that are complex and difficult to implement in some industries. The OIV has been working for a long time to incorporate this technology into official methods, especially considering that they are already used, with slight differences, in sectors as sensitive as human and veterinary diagnostics. However, the offer of analysis platforms specifically adapted to the needs of the oenological sector is very limited, which means that not all the improvements in productivity and management incorporated in the most recent systems are taken advantage of.

Image of a set of Dionysos reagents

THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGIES

At Sinatech we accept the challenge of incorporating the most innovative enzymatic analysis technologies from a perspective closer to the economic and technical reality, and we believe that we can help boost the sector and cover this technological gap by contributing all our experience to offer an ideal platform to meet the real needs of oenological laboratories using both specific instruments and adapted reagents that represent the technological vanguard.

DIONYSOS systems are compact and easy to use, adapted to the usual needs of the oenological laboratory, whatever its size, and highly efficient. In its design, it has sought to maximize productivity by incorporating elements that until now were only found in high-performance analyzers (management by means of a touch interface, washing station, real refrigeration, automatic dilution of extremely high precision samples, or reagent inventory management, among others) using state-of-the-art mechanical and electronic components: nanomaterial-treated sample tips (which eliminate carryover contamination, without the need to waste reagent as in instruments designed a decade ago), highly durable and precision ceramic pistons (which allow direct sample dilutions up to 1/100 ratios) or high resolution optics with diffraction matrix. To these characteristics would be added some exclusive tools especially aimed at oenological management, such as a database for samples specifically designed for wineries (grape variety, alcoholic degree, deposit, production plot…), or the register of vine growers and plots. The system is completed with a wide range of reagents designed with ease of use and consumption in mind. All formulations are liquid, stable and mostly ready for use or with reagent preparation in a single step and with reduced consumption, following the procedures established by the OIV.

Image of a Sinatech Dionysos 150 automated chemistry analyzer
Photograph of the Sinatech Dionysos 150 chemistry analyzer

For more than 10 years, Sinatech’s commitment to the winemaker has been working side by side to provide the most appropriate analytical solutions to the control and monitoring of the winemaking process. Automated methods easily adaptable to any work routine, with a personalized advisory team to help you quickly and smoothly implement.

Sinatech: TeamWork.

CHEMOMETRICS IN JUICES

Picture o juices

The consumption of juices is widely extended around the world, being, in addition to a refreshing and healthy drink, an important source of beneficial compounds for health. The quality of the juices is directly related to their composition, which in turn depends on the type and variety of fruit used. Legislation relating to the quality of food is especially demanding in terms of traceability of its origin, as well as its composition. The most frequent adulterations in fruit juices and derivatives include false declarations of origin, dilution with water, addition of sugars, acids or juices of less value, the latter being a practice with significant economic impact. Producers of processed fruits and vegetables must implement analytical tools that allow them to ensure both the real origin and the quality of the product used or its adulteration.

Each fruit and vegetable, depending on its species, variety and origin, presents a specific composition profile that can be used to detect the presence of a product that does not meet the expected specifications. In particular, the profile of sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose, sorbitol) and that of organic acids (malic, lactic, citric, isocitric, tartaric and others) can be used to detect mixtures or additions not declared in matrices such as juices, nectars and fruit purees. During fruit processing, these profiles have the advantage of being relatively stable (in the absence of fermentation) against oxidation or other alterations. Furthermore, they can be easily measured with high precision independently, either by specific enzymatic procedures or after chromatographic separation processes.

The simultaneous determination of these parameters and their comparison with known profiles using multivariate statistical methods (in particular the so-called PCA, Principal Component Analysis, and HCA, Hyerarchical Cluster Analysis) is called chemometrics. This type of data treatment makes it possible to evaluate aspects as specific as geographical origin, sensory and nutritional properties, or the existence of adulterations. In some cases, complex instrumental techniques are required (HPLC, isotope exchange, FT-IR) that require a high technical level, but it is possible to use simpler methods to reliably collect the different data to be used, such as UV-VIS spectroscopy.

To facilitate the analysis, the AIJN-European Fruit Juice Association publishes different reference guides depending on the type of juice in which, in addition to the maximum and minimum values, specific data regarding the expected values ​​that take into account the differences are detailed. between varieties, as well as throughout the ripening process. The following table, drawn up from different bibliographic sources, shows by way of example the profiles corresponding to several common juices, in which the differences between them can be confirmed.

Picture o juices
Chemometry table
(Click on image to enlarge)

Some of these components are authentic markers of identity due to their high concentration in some fruits and practically their absence in others. It is evident when analyzing the table to detect some of the adulterations that can occur when substituting juices of high economic value (such as those of red fruits) for other more affordable ones. For example, the presence of tartaric acid in a juice is a very evident sign of the presence of grape juice, since this acid does not appear in any other fruit; The same could be said of the presence of sorbitol, a sugar whose presence is very significant in pear juice, but practically absent in other fruits.

In other cases, the relative proportions between some parameters are indicative enough to indicate the presence of factors that can alter them. Thus, the relationship between glucose and fructose generally remains close to 1, but a higher value could suggest the presence of apple and / or pear juice; or a ratio between sucrose and glucose + high fructose would be characteristic of peach and / or pineapple juice.

Other acids deserve a separate mention that, although they do not offer information regarding authenticity, they do provide us with data on the quality of the processing, such as ascorbic acid (which is an indicator of the freshness of the juice, since it degrades throughout the time), acetic acid (which could be indicative of a fermentation process started) or D-lactic acid, which would point to contamination by lactic bacteria.

Sinatech offers a range of highly reliable and precise enzymatic reagents for the specific and precise determination of sugars and acids in fruit juices and derivatives accepted among the official methods of analysis for fruits and vegetables included in the Stanley Codes (CDX-247). The Dionysos system offers producers of packed juices, nectars and purees an optimal tool for the control of the production process and the detection of adulterations, capable of guaranteeing the quality and food safety requirements demanded by the existing regulations.

REFERENCES

  • Jiaxiu Li, Chunling Zhang, Hui Liu, Jiechao Liu, Zhonggao Jiao. Profiles of Sugar and Organic Acid of Fruit Juices: A comparative study and implication for authentication. J. Foof Quality (2020), ID 7236534. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/7236534

  • Marconi, O; Floridi, S; Montanari, L. Organic acids profile in tomato juice by HPLC with Uv detection. Journal of Food Quality 30 (2007) 253–266.

  • Pilando, LS; Wrolstad, RE. Compositional profiles of fruit juice concentrates and sweeteners. Food Chemistry 44 (1992) 19-27.

  • Nikolaou, C., Karabagias, I.K., Gatzias, I. et al. Differentiation of Fresh Greek Orange Juice of the Merlin Cultivar According to Geographical Origin Based on the Combination of Organic Acid and Sugar Content as well as Physicochemical Parameters Using Chemometrics. Food Anal. Methods 10, 2217–2228 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12161-016-0757-2Lorente, J; Vegara, S; Martí, N; Ibarz, A; Coll, L; Hernández, J; Valero, M; Saura, D. Chemical guide parameters for Spanish lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Burm.) juices. Food Chemistry 162 (2014) 186–191.

For more than 10 years, Sinatech’s commitment to the winemaker has been working side by side to provide the most appropriate analytical solutions to the control and monitoring of the winemaking process. Automated methods easily adaptable to any work routine, with a personalized advisory team to help you quickly and smoothly implement.

Sinatech: TeamWork.

THE WESTGARD RULES

Image of a Westgard chart version 2

We call “errors” in an analysis to the difference between the value obtained for a sample and the actual value of the analyte in it. Some of these errors are random and therefore unavoidable. They are the consequence of the random dispersion around a mean value (the real value) and will present positive and negative differences with respect to it represented by the statistical parameter called standard deviation. These types of errors cannot be eliminated, but they can be minimized. Other errors are systematic deviations caused by our measurement process. Those can be corrected by different procedures depending on the nature of the error (for example, by recalibrating the method).

Quality protocols are the tools used to determine both the intensity of a random error (and determine when the established tolerance limits are exceeded) and to identify the existence of systematic errors that must be corrected. It is the use of these protocols that ultimately determines the reliability of the result.

The usual way of evaluating the quality of a series of measures is the use of control material; that is, a sample whose composition is known for the parameters that we want to control and that we include along with other unknown samples. If we obtain the expected value for the control sample, then it is assumed that the test samples are giving correct results (which is called series validation); otherwise (the control does not give the expected value), we would reject the series since the results would be compromised by an indeterminate error. However, the concept ‘expected value’ needs some additional clarification, since the control measure itself is subject to errors.

The first step is to focus on the random error that, under the usual measurement conditions, is represented by a normal distribution function of the results (the so-called Gaussian Bell). This function allows you to calculate the probability that a result is more or less far from the real value; thus, at a distance of 1 standard deviation above or below, we will have 68.2% of the results; at a distance of 2 standard deviations, 95.4% and at a distance of 3 standard deviations, 99.7%. Therefore, the first element to determine in order to know if our control result is acceptable or not is to know the standard deviation associated with our method through measurements made specifically for that purpose (for example, n replicates of the control material); or simply set it based on the maximum tolerable error that we will accept for this determination. That is, the maximum value of error that won’t change the decisions to be made based on that specific test. In the first case, we will focus on the specific characteristics of the measurement method, while in the second on the general needs of the process.

Through this procedure, we do not have any information about the systematic error, since the information we have is strictly punctual in time. In addition, the measure itself is subject to error, thus we will always have a non-zero risk both of not detecting a possible error and of accepting a false rejection. By looking at the data set obtained over time we obtain additional information to estimate the existence of non-random errors (and therefore repeated over time if they are not corrected) as well as minimize the probability of false rejections or to accept errors out of tolerance.

The most used of all are the so-called Westgard Rules in which some of the most frequent control rules are combined:

  • 12s: If the value obtained is outside ± 2 standard deviations, we proceed to check
  • 13s: if it is outside ± 3 standard deviations, we reject it; if not, we check
  • 22s: if we have two results in a row outside ± 2 standard deviations, we reject; but,
  • R4s: if there are more than 4 standard deviations between the two results, we reject; but,
  • 41s : si tenemos 4 resultados seguidos fuera de 1 desviación estándar con el mismo signo, rechazamos; si no,
  • 10: if we have 10 results on the same side of the expected value, we reject; otherwise, we accept the series.

Each of these rules points to a different error detection mechanism. Thus, using only a 12s rule, we would find that 4.6% of the series would be wrongly rejected (since statistically it corresponds to the probability of the tails that are outside 2s), while a 13s rule would possibly be too permissive and we could end up accepting some intolerable error (for example, a systematic error that took the results beyond 3 standard deviations, would still give 50% “acceptable” and 50% “unacceptable” results). By combining them, we strengthen the ability to detect both increases in imprecision (random error) and the appearance of systematic errors. By entering several consecutive data, as in 22s and R4s, the ability to detect relevant deviations from the expected value or imprecision is strengthened.

Not all rules must be applied systematically, but it is the laboratory that decides which rules to apply taking into account the number of controls available, the cost of the analysis procedure, the frequency with which it is performed, the risk of false rejection or the probability of detecting intolerable errors. It is common to consider the breach of the 12s rule as a warning (it does not generate rejection of the series) and to gradually incorporate additional rules such as 22s and R4s until reaching the appropriate level of error detection and limitation of false rejections.

The use of controls during the measurement process and their correct interpretation in the context of laboratory work is one of the most powerful tools available to the laboratory manager to assess the quality of the results provided. Sinatech has multiparametric control material to help in this task and help the oenological laboratory to provide reliable and precise results and its Dionysos system incorporates tools for the automatic application of different control rules and graphics that support their correct interpretation.

Image of a Westgard chart

References:

https://www.westgard.com/ (Official webpage).

For more than 10 years, Sinatech’s commitment to the winemaker has been working side by side to provide the most appropriate analytical solutions to the control and monitoring of the winemaking process. Automated methods easily adaptable to any work routine, with a personalized advisory team to help you quickly and smoothly implement.

Sinatech: TeamWork.