Total Determination of fat content in just 90 minutes!

Traditional methods lead to the use of large amounts of solvents to remove fat from a sample matrix, resulting in low cost-effectiveness.
As an example, conventional fat extraction of pretreated cheese usually requires 3 hours and over 100 mL of solvent per sample. The standard fat extraction methods are not efficient in matter of cost and time, also exposing laboratory technicians to dangerous solvents.
To overcome these limitations, Milestone has developed a fast yet accurate microwave-based technology, which allows the chemist to carry out the simultaneous determination of fat content in 15 milk and milk products samples in just 90 minutes, with equivalent results of those obtained with reference techniques like Rose-Gottlieb method, Weibull-Stoldt or Schmid-Bondzynski-Ratzlaff method. The main advantages of this technology include:
  • 15 samples simultaneously
  • 75% solvent reduction
  • Up to 10 gram of sample amount
  • Combined hydrolysis and extraction

Application Report

Application Report
Download our valuable resources for detailed procedure.

Performances comparison

The traditional fat extraction methods are very labour intensive and time-consuming.
Compare the performances of the ETHOS X microwave-based technology to those of the Reference Method

A new Method

The ETHOS X determines total fat in milk and milk products as a result of two working steps. In the first step sample hydrolysis and extraction take place simultaneously at relatively elevated temperature and pressure conditions. In the second step a known aliquot of the solvent with the extracted fat is evaporated allowing the chemist to weigh and measure the fat content.

Hydrolysis & Extraction

Up to 15 samples can be analyzed simultaneously, with a typical sample amount up to 10 gram. 10 mL of diluted acid and 25 mL of solvent are used for most matrices. The combined hydrolysis and extraction process takes place at 125°C and requires approximately 50 minutes or less.
Temperature is monitored and controlled in each and every vessel by using a unique combination of fiber optic and infrared temperature sensors. The ETHOS X built-in magnetic stirrer assures an even heating and temperature uniformity in all vessels, as well as intensive mixing between the aqueous and the solvent phases.
Typical combined hydrolysis and extraction temperature profile.
Acid: diluted sulfuric acid or diluted hydrochloric acid. Solvent: cycle-hexane or petroleum ether.

Solvent Evaporation

A measured aliquot of the solvent with the extracted fat is evaporated in disposable cups, located in a dedicated rotor, in just 15 minutes.
The evaporation process takes place under controlled temperature and vacuum conditions, to avoid the thermal degradation of the fat content. At the completion of the evaporation, the fat content is immediately weighed on a balance which is directly interfaced with the ETHOS X, taking advantage of the extremely short cooling time of the disposable cups. The instrument operating software automatically calculates the fat content and all the statistics associated with the analysis of the 12 samples analyzed.
Typical evaporation temperature profile.

High technical performance

Microwave Hardware

The ETHOS X microwave cavity has a volume in excess of 70 liters, by far the largest currently available. With an installed power of 1900 Watt, the ETHOS X is the most powerful microwave platform system available for extraction. A rotating diffuser evenly distributes the microwaves throughout the cavity. A magnetic stirrer is built-in in the ETHOS X system. It is designed to ensure vigorous stirring of the solutions in all vessels. Finally, the ETHOS X actually acts as a fume hood, as it incorporates a powerful exhaust system.

User Interface

The new Milestone ETHOS X is equipped with the most advanced yet easy to use reaction temperature and pressure sensors for complete quality control of the extraction conditions. It is controlled via a compact terminal with an easy-to-read, bright, full-color, touchscreen display. The terminal runs a completely new user-friendly, icon-driven, multi-language software to provide easy control of the microwave run.

Expanding the ETHOS capabilities

Flexibility and performance that make the difference

The ETHOS embraces Milestone’s philosophy of a “microwave labstation”. The ETHOS platform is capable of several extraction applications: extraction of pollutants from environmental samples can be done in just few minutes, consuming less solvent than other technologies, thereby improving productivity while decreasing costs, all in full accordance with the US EPA 3546. Additional accessories are available to further expand the ETHOS capabilities: a dedicated configuration for total fat determination in food samples which greatly improves turn-around-time, specific rotors to match the requirements of several extraction processes for GC and HPLC analyis, and an easy to use filtration system that improves the workflow and the productivity.


For solvent extraction

The SR-15 is a very versatile tool to perform solvent extraction. Its wide working range makes it a perfect solutions even for the extraction that requires extreme conditions.
It is composed by 15 high-purity PTFE-TFM vessel with a volume of 100 mL.


For solvent evaporation

The RAR rotor has been specifically developed to speed up the solvent evaporation process. It's unique design uses disposable aluminium caps, eliminating the cleaning step. The combination of the unique Weflon material nd microwave heating reduce the evaporation to in just few minutes.
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