ATAGO Refractometers (Click here for refractometer catalog)

ATAGO Co, Ltd., is the world’s leading manufacture of refractometers. From the time it was founded in 1940, ATAGO’s refractometer researchers and engineers have striven to develop new types of refractometers, and through the years have continued to simplify the operational controls of the refractometers as well as speed up measurement time.

Today, ATAGO refractometers are widely used in research laboratories, industrial facilities, clinics, and universities in over 100 countries throughout the world.

Building on 60 years of refractometer proprietary know how and a proven track record for being the fastest in the world to introduce cutting edge technology, ATAGO will continue to develop the most user-friendly, high performance refractometers to meet the demanding needs of users in the new millennium.

ATAGO is an ISO 9001 registered company for the design, production and
servicing of refractometers and polarimeters.

We offer a wide selection of models of refractometers and polarimeters to make many quality control and concentrate verification procedures easy and accurate.

Hand Held Brix Refractometers
The most common and versatile scale.

Salinity Refractometers
Atago offers three different salinity units to choose from. Ý

Hand Held Clinical Refractometers
Ease of use makes these units ideal for the clinical setting.

Digital Refractometers
From convenient portables, to high accuracy bench top units, these items will meet the most demanding needs.

Abbe Refractometers
A wide range of models in the classic analog bench top style.

Other ATAGO Refractometers & Instruments
Specialty refractometers and other instruments including:
• Antifreeze & Battery Refractometer Coolant Testers
• Differential Refractometers
• Honey Refractometers
• Refractive index Refractometers
• Research Grade Refractometers
• Wine Refractometers


How does it work
Water is placed in a reservoir. When a pencil is dipped into the water, the tip appears bent. Now put concentrated sugar water into a cup and try the same thing. The tip of the pencil should appear even more bent. This is the phenomenon of light refraction. Refractometers are measuring instruments in which this phenomenon of light refraction is put to practical use. They are based on the principal that as the density of a substance (e.g. when sugar is dissolved in water), it’s refractive index rises proportionately.

Water Concentrated
Sugar Water

Principals of Refractometers

When light enters a liquid it bends. This phenomenon is known as refraction. The more concentrated a solution is with dissolved solids, the more the light will bend. A refractometer measures the degree the light has been bent. This is known as the angle of refraction. An index value has been established for each of these angles of refraction and this “Refractive Index” (nD) can be used to either identify or evaluate a given liquid sample.

The prism in a refractometer has a greater refractive index than the sample solution. Measurements are read at the point where the prism and solution meet. With a low concentration solution, the refractive index of the prism is much greater than that of the sample, causing a large refraction angle and a low reading. The reverse (lower refraction angle and higher reading) would happen with a highly concentrated solution.

The Brix Scale
The Brix scale is named after it’s inventor, the German scientist, Adolf Brix. The Brix scale, due to it’s flexibility of use among nearly every industry, is the most common scale found on refractometers today. It directly correlates to the Refractive Index (nD) scale and is calibrated to the number of grams of cane sugar (sucrose) contained in 100 grams of sucrose solution. Therefore the Brix reading equals actual sucrose concentration.

In addition, the Brix scale can be used to show the concentration percentage of the soluble solids content of a water solution. The soluble solid content is the total of all the solids dissolved in the water, beginning with sugar, protein, acids, etc. The Brix reading is the value of the sum total of those. When the actual concentration of single soluble solids (acetic acid, calcium chloride, ethanol, etc.) other than sucrose is desired, a conversion chart is used.

Often solutions contain many kinds of ingredients other than sugar and conversion tables for such specific solutions are useless due to the occurance of more than one soluble solid. In these instances an industry standard is used or one can be created by testing from a known desired concentration level. For example, Beverage X has a normal Brix reading of 12.4%. This number can then be used for all standardizing and quality control for this product’s concentration level.