How to Measure the Color of Pasta

How to Measure the Color of Pasta using a Konica Minolta CR-410

The United States is home to the largest pasta market in the world. According to the National Pasta Association, Americans consume a whopping 2.7 million tons of pasta a year and the average American consumes almost 20 lbs. (19.85 lbs) of pasta annually. As with any major food sector, it is important for pasta producers to ensure their product has a color that conveys flavor, freshness and quality in the eyes of the consumer.

Measuring pasta color occurs in two stages, flour and the actual pasta product. In both cases, color can be measured with an instrument like “The CR-410 Chroma Meter”. Color value is provided in L*a*b* format, b* is the indicator of yellowness in a sample. The higher b* becomes, the more yellow the sample appears.

A method for measuring the color of semolina flour.

Semolina flour is a course, medium grade durum wheat used for making pasta among other wheat products. Semolina flour contains several different color grains. For stable color data, an instrument with a large measurement aperture size can average a diverse set of sample colors. With a sizable measurement area of 50mm, The CR-410 can cover a large area of a sample. To stabilize sample measurement, it is important to maintain consistency in sample preparation. This means using the same sample size in the same container with the same pressure to compress sample, etc. for every measurement.

How-to Measure Semolina Flour

The Granular-Material Attachment CR-A50 is a great way of measuring a flour sample and is what we used in the steps below

  1. Place a portion of semolina inside the KM Granular materials attachment so that it is even with the top of the retaining ring
  2. Tap to comHow to Measure the Color of Pasta using a Konica Minolta CR-410 press the flour evenly
  3. Attach the cover to the base by aligning its indices with the grooves on the collar
  4. Next, insert the CR 410 measuring head so that it rests on the surface
  5. Finally press the "Measure" key

When done you should see measurements similar to the ones below

Color vales for b*: Semolina Flour
Sample A Sample B Sample C Sample D
28.10 29.01 30.12 28.62

Color SapbeMeasurement of final product

Another way to measure pasta color is using the actual pasta product. For example, when measuring spaghetti, the sample needs to fill its container. The surface needs to be carefully made flat so that the instrument can attach to the sample without any gaps to eliminate instability in the sample’s positioning. We recommend performing multiple measurements and averaging data for stable results.

By checking pasta, color in various production stages waste can be reduced and quality maintained.
With such a high demand for pasta Color, measurement could save you pounds of pasta a year, which means not only meeting quotas but also maximizing every dollar spent on material costs.

Pharma Color

Color Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry

In the pharmaceutical industry, color control is important for many reasons. Laboratory and manufacturing environments use color evaluation to identify color attributes and inconsistencies in drugs and medications. Companies take color quality control seriously as integral part of their business plan. With the current technology, many pharmaceuticals have found ways to improve testing and save valuable time and money when it comes to color control and evaluation.

Color Control in Soap

The importance of washing our hands has never been more evident since the onset of COVID-19, in addition to the yearly flu season. Health officials agree that one of the most important things people can do to protect themselves is to use warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds in washing of our hands.

Manufactures add scents to soap to make using it a pleasant experience; visually it makes sense to have the color of the soap to reflect the scent to enhance the overall effect. As an example, “Lavender” hand soap will probably be a light purple in color. “Kitchen Lemon” is likely to be yellow, etc. In reality, neither the scent nor color of the soap will play a role in its efficiency to kill bacteria and viral contaminants; however, inconsistent color on store shelves will have an impact on that perception. If one quarter of the lavender soap was not as “purple” as the other (lacking of chroma), it is possible consumers would think of this as either weak or old, and would gravitate to the more brilliant colored soaps.

A properly maintained spectrophotomer allows manufacturers to maintain consistent colors throughout their processes from development, to production, to consumer. For opaque material, we recommend a reflection spectrophotometer (colored light reflecting off the material). For transparent, or translucent, a spectrophotometer with transmission measurement (colored light transmitting through the substance) is best. A spectrophotometer capable of measuring both reflection and transmission, like the CM-5, would be ideal for companies making opaque and translucent/transparent soaps.

By developing a standard color for each variant, manufacturers can subjectively (visually) assure acceptability with use of a light booth, which offers standardized viewing conditions, and can replicate how the soap will look in the store as well as the home. In conjunction with that method, the use of a spectrophotometer (like the CM-5 mentioned above) will allow for objective measurements (via instrumentation) that allows quantitative data for any samples for color quality control and communication. By using this measured information, be it spectral data or tristimulus data such as CIEL*a*b*, any non-acceptable deviation from the standard can be quickly and easily communicated to the proper personnel, to apply the proper correction. Catching incorrectly colored product early in the production cycle saves manufacturers time and money, and drastically reduces rework and waste.

With a proper color quality control process in place, manufactures can assure customers that their products will look as good as they work.

Color Control - Milk Powder

Top brands invest large sums into their colors ensuring that their corporate logos meet exact requirements because color plays a huge role in the branding and reputation of a company.

Color Perception

Similarly, when manufacturing food products, major companies place a high importance in achieving color consistency. They value color because color is the largest indicator of a product’s quality. Color is the first segment of perception that people use when selecting a brand in the supermarket.

In milk powder, the source, processing and storage all contribute to the color. Ranging from a lighter white to a creamy yellow, maintaining a desired color on a consistent basis can be challenging.

Color Assessment

Chroma meters and Spectrophotometers provide an unbiased approach to color measurement. Applications for these instruments include, incoming quality checks of raw ingredients, research and development as well as production process control.

Scientific Color Measurement

Colorimeters measure color typically using a lamp that provides uniform illumination inside a sphere. The light illuminates the test sample which then reflects light to a sensor. Then the sensor feeds into a processor that calculates the collected color data. Food technologists display the collected data in color spaces like CIE L*a*b* or CIE L*C*h (The most common in the food industry).

Food technologists use this data to:

  • Communicate exact color
  • Archive for record keeping
  • Keep as a point of reference for upcoming quality checks
  • Process and analyze trends
  • Evaluate performance

Research and Development teams take this data to:

  • Determine effects of various processes have in the color of their product
  • Document the optimal processes for creating their product
  • Defining a shelf life for their product

Process or Quality Control professionals also use this data in monitoring and grading:

  • Incoming, unprocessed product
  • Color change during production
  • Final inspection of products

Color Analysis of Milk Powder

As stated earlier, milk powder color ranges from shades of light white to a creamy yellow shade. The color difference in milk powder is most noticeable on the b* value (yellowness value). The L value (lightness value) for observing ‘whiteness’ color changes related to time. To ensure product consistency, the Whiteness Index (WI) and Yellowness Index (YI) can be for tracking changes in color shade.

Selecting Color Measurement Instruments & Accessories

Compact chroma meters are ideal for the food production floor. Chroma meters are portable instruments that use direct contact to measure samples. Due to their fast, color-variance detection speeds, a chroma meter will improve production yields. For an in-depth color analysis, a chroma meter can transform data into many other color indices and color spaces outside of the CIE L*a*b and CIE L*C*h color spaces. If measuring granular or powder samples (like milk powder) the aid of a granular material attachment or a petri dish is required.

CM-5 Spectrophotometer

Color measurement of plastics bottles and tops

The quality of packaging is an important element in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) industry. For beverage companies it important to have high quality bottles and caps. To control quality many companies have tight specifications and controls on the color of their packaging. Measuring PET preform colors at different points to helps ensure the fully blown bottles meet a desired color.

Color measurement for bottles, caps and closures are done in stages; product development, in-coming inspection of raw materials, preform of bottles and the finished product for caps and closures. To get accurate measurement of color use an instrument like the bench top CM-5 spectrophotometer.

Tips for color measurements in different stages of the creation process:

  • In-coming inspection of colored materials like masterbatch or resins use a glass cell or a petri dish to hold the pellets, ensuring repeatability of the measurement. Once filled up, use a cell or petri dish set on top of a bench top spectrophotometer like our CM-5, to take a reading. If the reading is out of the tolerance range, the material might be reworked or rejected.
  • During the Preform Stage bottle color is measured. It is critical to obtain the right color in this stage before molding the preform into its final shape. The bottle preform is similar in shape to a cylinder you may find in a lab. Use a preform holder for consistent placement of your measurements. The Custom Preform Holder for the CM-5 is a helpful tool for transmission measurement of preforms.
  • For caps and closures use the reflectance function of your spectrophotometer, we recommend the CM-700d Spectrophotmeter for this measurment. Although many measure the top of the cap alone, for reproducible data average the results of measures to the cap’s various sides in different positions and angles.

The Custom Preform Holder for the benchtop CM-5 spectrophotometer is a quick and reliable way to measure the color of a preform. This CM-5 accessory is perfect for companies in the beverage industry or any other plastic bottle manufacturing facilities.

Custom Preform Holder Custom Preform Holder CM-5 Spectrophotometer Open

Measuring Color in Building Materials

Measuring Color in Building Materials

From rooftops to floors and everything in between, Konica Minolta Sensing Americas offers high-performance instrument and software solutions used to establish and meet color quality standards for the building material industry. These solutions allow users to accurately evaluate and control the color and appearance of samples with various surface conditions, opacity, and thickness in a more streamlined process internally and throughout the supply chain. As a result, consistency can be maintained and color quality standards can be met with less waste, time, and effort.

Konica Minolta to Release New Portable Spectrophotometer to Improve Productivity, the CM-26dG Capable of Simultaneously Measuring Color and Gloss

Ramsey N.J. (October 15, 2019) - Konica Minolta Sensing Americas, Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced that the company will launch the new CM-26dG portable spectrophotometers for high-precision color and gloss measurement.

The CM-26dG has already won awards, most notably, the the Good Design Award 2019 by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP) for its advanced design created to minimize user stress and maximize operability and ease of handling.

The CM-26dG, is an enhancement of the CM-26d introduced last spring, and has already become an intergral part of supply chains for many customers in the automotive, plastic, and ICT industries.

The CM-CT1 Configuration Tool software available as a free download allows users to create/write instrument settings as well as compile it into a file and share it within its supply chain to ensure consistent instrument settings, helping to increase efficiency and reduce manpower in customer operations and enabling digital color data management*1 across increasingly globalized supply chains.



Values offered by CM-26dG Series

  1. Improving the inspection process by quickly measuring color and gloss at the same time

The CM-26dG is a “two-in-one” type of spectrophotometer can simultaneously measure color and gloss, with a compact body weighing just 660g. This helps increase efficiency and reduce manpower when measuring large quantities of samples, significantly improving the existing inspection process of customers.


  1. Achieving outstanding quality control with the industry’s top level of measurement accuracy

The CM-26dG series provides extremely high inter-instrument agreement, with very little variation among units. This enables these instruments to be used for quality control across the supply chain, from component part manufacturers to those of finished products. The inter-instrument agreement of the chromaticity value (average for 12 BCRA color tiles) is within ΔE 0.12 for the CM-26dG, an improvement of about 40% from previous models.

This superb measurement accuracy enables digital color data management, which is color management based solely on colorimetric data without having to use color reference plates (which are troublesome to prepare and require strict control) for each site. These new instruments thus help customers attain exceptional quality control across their supply chains worldwide.

  1. Helping improve operator productivity with high usability

The Job function*2 enables measurement instructions (including photographs) for routine tasks to be registered in the instrument, helping to improve productivity by promoting work uniformity regardless of differences in operator skills.

The CM-26dG can switch between Ø8mm and Ø3mm measurement areas for different area size of samples. And is equipped with a viewfinder for accurate positioning on patterned subjects or small parts, and instrument surfaces which come in contact with the measurement subject are designed to minimize subject damage.

  1. Faster measurements for increased task efficiency and improved durability for reduced downtime

For products produced in bulk such as ICT products, thousands of quality inspections may be conducted per day, requiring short measurement times and measurement intervals together with high instrument durability. The CM-26dG series fulfills both of these requirements. Even when measuring both color and gloss with the CM-26dG, measurement time is only about 1 second and measurements can be taken approximately every two seconds. In addition, durability in terms of measurement cycles has been significantly improved compared to previous models. The improved inspection speed and durability increase work efficiency and reduce downtime.

*1: A color management technique based solely on numerical data without using color reference plates
*2: Setting enabled by separately available software



Main Specifications

The information, specifications, and product appearance provided in this news release are subject to change without notice.





Illumination/viewing system

di:8°, de:8° (diffused illumination, 8° viewing angle)
SCI (specular component included)/SCE (specular component excluded) selectable with automatic switching

Wavelength range

360 to 740 nm


Chromaticity value: Standard deviation within ΔE*ab0.02

(White calibration plate measured 30 times at 5-second intervals after white calibration was performed)

Inter-instrument agreement

Within ΔE*ab0.12

(Average for 12 BCRA Series II color tiles. MAV-SCI.
Compared to values measured with a master body under Konica Minolta standard conditions)


Measurement angle



Standard deviation

0 to <10 GU:                  Within 0.1 GU ≥10 to <100 GU:            Within 0.2 GU ≥100 GU to ≤200 GU:   Within 0.2% of the indicated value (Measured 30 times at 5-second intervals)

Inter-instrument agreement

0 to <10 GU:           Within ±0.2 GU ≥10 to <100 GU:     Within ±0.5 GU (MAV. Compared to values measured with a master body under Konica Minolta standard conditions)


(W × H × L) [mm]

Approx. 81×93×229

Weight [g]

Approx. 660


Company profile of Konica Minolta Sensing Americas
Konica Minolta Sensing Americas, Inc. (KMSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta, Inc., Sensing Business Unit is recognized as the international leader of industrial color and light measurement. The company is responsible for product lines that continuously revolutionize how visual perception is measured by the world.

Konica Minolta Sensing Americas' Ramsey, New Jersey corporate headquarters is fully equipped with a state of the art service center, technical support center, and a focused sales force dedicated to both the North American and South American regions. When it comes to color and light measurement, the world looks to Konica Minolta.

Peter J Roos

Marketing Manager
Konica Minolta Sensing Americas
Phone: (201) 236-4300
Toll Free: (888) 473-2625


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