Lately, my thoughts have been dwelling on this too. Yes, there is a complex side, but its also really simple. So far from what I’ve learned, the best way to understand is to start simple. Stick with fruits and vegetables at first. Once you better understand the basics, then you can get readings from other things and hopefully be able to see the bigger picture.
First, remember that when a plant is growing and creating what we use as food, it needs to have all the minerals in the soil and in an “available” form for them. “IF” there are enough minerals and the necessary soil life, then the plant will be able to use this energy to complex minerals. When this occurs the plant is naturally going to have to make more “sugar” to complex its minerals with. So in a nutshell, more sugar in the plant means more minerals.
Remember, too that a complexed sugar will refract the light in a refractometer at slightly different angles than would a simple sugar with no minerals attached. Hence, the “fuzzy” line to help indicate a good vs. bad reading. For the general purpose of testing crops while growing and or to test the final “food” product, the standard 0-32 Brix. is used. Although this tool was developed mainly for testing the sugar content in things to be fermented, many have proven its value in other areas. The simple fact its not widely known about and used in this manner is a good reason to look into it seriously!
Another point that is mis understood a lot, Brix = quality depends on what you test and how or what you compare that reading too. For example, fruits naturally have more available sugar to mineral content. So you would not say that an apple with a reading of 10 is better than a tomato at 5. For an apple to be considered really good, it should read above 15. The tomato is considered good around 8 to 10. Since vegetables typically have more minerals per sugar that fruits, it takes less sugar in vegetables to complex a lot of minerals. Again in a net shell fruit quality starts above 10. For me personally, I will eat any fruits I can get above this number. I’d prefer fuzzy lines but as you will see, it’s hard to find. Vegetables are harder to find above 5. Yet for most of them, anything above 5 is good, again from what I can get. So my 5 tomato is as good if not better that a 10 apple or pear. One trick here is carrots, they naturally have a lot of sugar and I’ve noticed that they seem to read higher that most of my other vegetables. I’m assuming that its not because they’re a little better. It would be helpful to understand the brix charts available on the net and read about their origin. I don’t think anyone who test foods first from conventional farming methods, then organic, then finally high brix foods would ever argue any of these points. Based on what they’ve seen and eaten for themselves, not based on what others say.
As far as other things that one might want to test using their brix meter, you have to understand your limitations. If you want to test smoothies, your not going to use these readings and say hey, my smoothie tested 20 brix so it must be the best thing out their! Your going to see that the combination needs to be compared against other smoothies. Then you can see that the ones you make say our better that the one you can buy because yours, using good food of course, are going to have fuzzy lines and the ones from the stores are going to be off the chart and have a sharp reading. So you see, you know it’s the added refined syrup causing the super high reading because you understand how much it “should” read. You see the sharp line so you know it lacks in minerals. You could do the same with the BSM drinks if you wanted too. And see how much different ingredients change the reading of the drink.
In conclusion the brix does not tell you the pH of what your eating but it does give you a super fast and quick answer to a very long equation. And that is “IF” what your eating is going to be acidic or alkaline after you eat it when it matters, not before!
O yea, the above is only my interpretation from the information I’ve gained from this forum and using my refractometer and open to correction.