REFRACTIVE INDEX OF CROP JUICES
Calibrated in % Sucrose (or Brix)
FOR REFERENCE: PURE WATER HAS A READING OF “0”
Within a given species of plant, the crop with the higher refractive index will have a higher sugar content, higher mineral content, higher protein content and a greater specific gravity or density. This adds up to a sweeter tasting, higher mineral, nutritious food with a lower nitrate and water content and better storage characteristics. It will produce more alcohol from fermented sugars and be more resistant to insects, thus resulting in decreased insecticide usage. Crops with a higher sugar content will have a lower freezing point and therefore be less prone to frost damage. Soil fertility needs may also be ascertained from this reading.
The brix (sugar) levels are not to be taken as an exact measurement of plant vitality but only as a guideline. Stored sugar is not a cellular energy source until its C-H-O molecular links are broken enzymatically. If this energy release or link breaking occurs faster than the cell can use it (energy), then energy is lost into the air. This condition usually occurs when the cell liquid pH is below 6.4 and most often indicates low Ca and higher K. The reverse can occur if the links in the C-H-0 sugar are broken too slowly (low enzyme activity). The plant is starved for the proper energy needed for growth. This usually occurs from low Mn or Zn or under high nitrogen / high tissue pH levels coupled with drought stress. Tissue pH adjustments can stop disease of insect attacks once they have started.