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Scientific Breakthrough Is Marked At Carlsberg


These days mark the 100 year anniversary of a scientific breakthrough at the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen providing better quality and safety of products for consumers – the so called pH scale.

A strange name for invention, but the pH still has a significant impact – and world wide.

The scale is widely used within science and food manufacturing assuring both consumer safety and product quality by using the pH measurement to confirm that the product is safe for consumption. For modern brewing techniques the development was a leap forward. When the pH value is measured during beer production, the process of the fermentation can be monitored and ultimately ensure that beer production is in order. Additionally, the pH value also affects the shelf life of beer. The pH value is also vital in the production of insulin, in farming, knowing the pH of soil is extremely important when determining the soil quality where crops are grown, and when baking bread the addition of acid to the dough actually has a beneficial influence on the finished bread just to mention a few examples.

In 1909 the Head of the Chemistry Department at the Carlsberg Laboratory, Professor S.P.L. Sørensen, developed the pH scale during his pioneering research into proteins, amino acids and enzymes – the basis of today’s protein chemistry.  The conception of the pH scale provided a revolutionary standard measurement for determining whether a solution is acidic or alkaline. Before the pH scale, the only parameter to measure acid levels were vague terms such as “good”, “bad” or “slightly more than last time”. Several scientists had worked on the subject around the turn of the century, but S.P.L.Sørensen’s was the first systematic definition.

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Thursday, January 18, 7:43 am

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