President, Reflectronics, Inc.
Fred Payne is founder and President of Reflectronics, Inc – a company formed in 1993 to manufacture the CoAguLite sensor for automating the coagulation endpoint selection in cheese processing. He is also an engineering Professor Emeritus of the University of Kentucky where he taught courses in food process engineering for 27 years and researched optical sensors development. He has 10 U. S. Patents and several refereed technical publications. He is an active member and Fellow of his professional organization, ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) and a current member of the Finance Committee.
Membrane filters used in the dairy industry to separate whey proteins from whey have a definite lifetime with protein losses increasing as the filters degrade. A fluorescence sensor was developed to measure true protein concentration in whey permeate and monitor membrane filter performance. The sensor technology measures true protein by directing ultraviolet light into a whey protein solution, exciting the amino acid tryptophan, and measuring the generated fluorescent intensity. An algorithm uses fluorescent intensity measurements to determine the true protein concentration of the solution corrected for temperature and solids concentration. The inline fluorescence sensor measures the true protein concentration in real-time with a precision of 0.005% over a calibrated range of 0 to 0.30% protein. The measured protein concentration information can be used to monitor filter performance, provide a threshold alert for excess leakage, and facilitate filter replacement decisions.