Sugar Solutions, Syrups & Honey


Honey is produced from the nectar of flowers and tree blossom and varies in colour according to its source. Honey producers and blenders have their own colour scale which is used to gauge its market price and, in the case of blenders, to standardise the product.

Syrups used in cough mixtures are often coloured for recognition purposes.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your specific application.

Scales & Values

Grading techniques are widely used to assess product colour by comparison with a representative series of fixed colour standards.

For many product types, a characteristic set of standards was agreed and adopted to aid colour control and the communication of colour specifications; the result is a selection of traditional colour grading scales that have been adopted as industry standards and are still common today.

Your colour scale determines your instrument choice. We would be delighted to offer advice as to the correct colour scale and thus instrument choice for your application. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Colour Scales:

  • CIE L*a*b*
    • A Colour space in which values L*, a* and b* are plotted using a Cartesian coordinate system. Equal distances in the space approximately represent equal colour differences. L* represents lightness; a* represents the red/green axis; and b* represents the yellow/blue axis. CIE L*a*b* is a popular colour space for measuring both reflective and transmissive samples
    • Instruments that can be used: most instruments in the Lovibond® range
  • Delta E* colour difference
    • Assessment of colour is more than a numeric expression. Usually it’s an assessment of the colour difference (delta) from a known standard. CIELAB (L*a*b*) and CIELAB (L*C*h) are used to compare the colours of two objects
    • The expressions for these colour differences are DL*, Da*, Db*, or DL* DC* DH* ("D" symbolises "delta," which indicates difference). Note: DH* is usually used instead of Dh to enable DE* to be calculated
  • Honey Colour (Pfund Equivalents)
    • For grading commercial honeys, ranging from pale through to deep amber and based on Pfund values in millimetres. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established its own descriptive colour classification for extracted honey, which is based on Pfund values
    • When using the Lovibond Comparator range of honey discs, the W680 10mm/OG cell must be used. The exception to this is the USDA disc where the W60/33mm/OG cell must be used
    • Instruments that can be used: PFX-195/7 / i / Honey Colorpod (pfund equivalents)
  • International Fruit Juice Union (IFU) Colour
    • Developed in Europe for grading the colour of fruit juices and concentrates with a yellow/amber colour such as apple, pear and white grape. Colour values range from 1 to 25 as follows: Discs 4/48 range 1-9 IFU, 4/49 9-17 IFU and 4/50 17-25 IFU.
    • Instruments required: AF331 IFU Colour Scale
  • Maple Syrup
    • Colour scales for grading Maple Syrup
    • Instruments required: Lovibond® Comparator; daylight unit, disc/s 299520 / 299370 / 288180, 10 mm / 33 mm fused optical cell
  • Spectral data
    • Spectral data, where colour measurement is concerned, is the data derived from measuring the level of reflectance or transmittance of a given colour at selected wavelengths throughout the visible spectrum
    • Instruments that can be used: PFX and RT range
  • Transmittance
    • The ratio of transmitted flux to incident flux under specified conditions
    • Instruments that can be used: PFX range
  • xyY chromacity co-ordinates
    • The coordinates x, y, and z are derived from the XYZ Tristimulus values by the following calculation such that x + y + z = 1, x = X/(X + Y + Z), y = Y/(X + Y + Z), z = Z/(X + Y + Z)
    • The values of x and y can then be used to pinpoint a colour in the x y coordinate system. The x and y chromaticity coordinates are generally reported along with the value of luminance factor Y
    • Instruments that can be used: most instruments in the Lovibond® colour range
  • XYZ tristimulus values
    • The CIE XYZ 1931 Tristimulus system is a modified version of the RGB colour tristimulus system and uses non real or imaginary stimuli. This innovation allows all colours within its gamut to be expressed as positive numbers, unlike the RGB system, where some colours fall outside its gamut and are expressed as negatives. The XYZ chromaticity co-ordinates are defined as x,y,and z
    • Instruments that can be used: most instruments in the Lovibond® colour range
  • ICUMSA Colour Index
    • Photometric methods for colour grading of filtered sugar solutions based on the transmittance of the solution at a known concentration (Brix value) and at the specified wavelength of 420 nm for white sugars and other light coloured products or 560 nm for darker coloured products.
    • Instruments that can be used: PFX-195/7 / i / 880-S


Please send us an email explaining what you would like to test, your colour application and environment and we will send you a brochure with specifications based on your requirements.

Please send us an email explaining what you would like to test, your colour application and environment and we will recommend a suitable Lovibond® Tintometer colour testing instrument.

Additional information

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