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Online floating densimeter to monitor alcoholic beverages fermentation

Grant number: 20/13745-8
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: June 01, 2021 - February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Nícolas Gonçalves Borrego
Grantee:Nícolas Gonçalves Borrego
Host Company:Wisersoft Tecnologia em Sistemas Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Fabricação de máquinas e equipamentos para as indústrias de alimentos, bebidas e fumo
City: Jacareí
Associated scholarship(s):21/08284-4 - Online floating densimeter to monitor alcoholic beverages fermentation, BP.PIPE


The alcoholic beverages industry represents a considerable share of Brazilian GDP, representing total revenues equivalent of 137 billion in 2019. Wine, beer and cachaça are responsible for the largest consumed volume. Consequently, the search for product standardization, quality assurance, food safety, process optimization and cost reduction are major concerns in this sector. Recently, an artisanal brewery from Minas Gerais, due to a failure in its process, alarmed the sector for selling contaminated beers that resulted in the death of customers. Industry 4.0 foresees the digitization of controls in industries based on the use of emerging technologies for analyzing a large volume of data. This productive model allows more flexible industries, since they support the connection of different processes, increase the efficiency, and make it more sustainable. Fermentation is the common process shared by all alcoholic beverages, and it represents a critical point in the process. Automating fermentation, therefore, is a way to improve control and reduce the human error factor. The fundamental parameter for the control of fermentation is the density and the main way to modulate fermentation is by controlling the temperature during the process. Currently, small and medium-sized industries already have digital control of temperature, however the density is still measured by means of analog equipment with manual sample collection. Furthermore, there is no automatic integration of those data. The availability of commercial solutions for this purpose are scarce and the existing ones are mostly dimensioned for home-scale production. In the Brazilian market, the situation is more critical due to the absence of such solutions. It is necessary to develop a national technology capable of monitoring and controlling the fermentation processes and temperature on an industrial scale. This project aims to technically validate the construction of an online floating densimeter with temperature measurement. Through the use of an accelerometer, it is possible to determine the density of the liquid during the fermentation process by relating the variation of its slope with the variation of density. A temperature sensor will be used both for primary use and to correct the density value in relation to variable temperature of each process. The communication of the equipment with the central unit will be made through wireless network technology. The ability to monitor fermentation in real time and without the need for sampling will allow a better understanding of the particularities of the fermentation process of each producer, a better and faster action capacity in the face of eventual unforeseen events, cost savings - as it will allow a faster release of the fermentation tanks for a new process - and the reduction of possible contamination of the product at the time of sample collection. (AU)

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