Introducing Milestone ETHOS™ X – Microwave Fat Determination in Food and Feed

As part of their labelling process and the QC testing, several testing and food processor labs perform the fat determination. The traditional methods are matrix-dependent and use outdated and time-consuming technologies. Milestone’s ETHOS X offers a new approach to gravimetric fat determination, moving toward a more modern, greener and more efficient strategy to total fat, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) and free fat decisions in food and feed matrices.

The ETHOS X hydrolysis and extraction are done in a single step and less time, ensuring higher productivity and better workflow. The ETHOS X method for total fat determination applies to any matrix; it enables processing of 45 samples a day, provides lower cost per sample, offers complete fat resolution, and is safe and compact. The features which make it the most attractive deal are as follows:

  • Applicable to any matrix
  • 45 samples a day
  • Lower cost per sample
  • Complete fat determination
  • Safe and compact



Ø  The process begins with the weighing of the sample and the reagents into the SR-15 closed vessels rotor. The process benefits from the microwave heating, the closed-vessel technology and powerful stirring so that hydrolysis and extraction simultaneously and efficiently take place. The comfortable TEMP, contactless temperature sensor, controls the entire process ensuring excellent reproducibility and high safety.

Ø  Next, an aliquot of solvent with the fat is transferred and weighed into the RAR-15 disposable cup for the evaporation step.  The weights are automatically assigned to the Easy CONTROL user interface software, which guides the operator throughout the procedure, providing total fat calculation, statistics, and full traceability of the complete process. The determination of total fat in 15 samples is completed in less than three hours.


The RAR-15 enables the simultaneous evaporation of 15 samples using microwave energy and a dedicated vacuum system. The solvent that contains the extracted fat is placed into a unique evaporation rotor with disposable aluminium caps. The process runs under vacuum, available with a recondensation module, ensuring the highest safety level and not exposing the operator to solvent vapours.


ETHOS X is not matrix-dependent. It uses a single method and is set up for virtually any food such as milk and dairy products, meat, bakery products and chocolate, and any feed sample. This approach also leads to a lighter accreditation procedure, as it is carried out on several samples using a single technique. Therefore, the ETHOS X method expedites the lab workflow and simplifies the total fat determination.


In QC and food testing laboratories, fast delivery of results, and high throughput are critical factors for total fat determination. Even modern automated Soxhlet techniques require several hours to deliver results affecting the competitiveness of the lab. The ETHOS X processes 15 samples simultaneously, and as many as 45 samples in a single working day, using one rotor and 75 samples with two rotors. Its specific method combines the hydrolysis and extraction into a single step, directly impacting the lab’s turnaround time and throughput.


Automated Soxhlet systems are based on the outdated Soxhlet technology which uses open vessels and large flasks. This approach requires elevated acid and solvent volumes for the hydrolysis and extraction steps. The ETHOS X uses closed vessel technology to increase the temperature and improve extraction efficiency, reducing the reagents’ volume. The unique setup offers a reagent and waste reduction of up to 60%. In combination with the higher productivity and compelling initial investment, it provides a lower cost per sample.


In addition to total fat determination, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) analysis is a formal analysis determining saturated and unsaturated fats. The flexibility of the ETHOS X configuration and its dedicated procedures enables it to perform FAME and free fat determinations of food samples, performing the complete fatty acids profile within a single platform.


The traditional approach requires two central systems: hydrolysis and one for extraction, offering limited productivity and occupying valuable space in the lab or the fume hood. The ETHOS X setup allows us to carry out all the steps within a single platform while improving productivity; it is not installed in the fume hood and saves over 50% of the lab space. Its dedicated exhaust system combined with up-to-date features ensures the highest operator safety level throughout the entire process.


The easy CONTROL software, installed on the user interface, fully controls all the process parameters and collects all the data. When connected to a balance, it records and associates every weighing step to the sample, providing excellent traceability and guiding the operator throughout the process. The easy CONTROL software acquires the information needed to support the analysis report, such as automatic calculations and sample statistics, and offers full integration with LIMS.

Thus, ETHOS X allows processing any food and feed matrix with a single approach, directly impacting the lab workflow. Along with the commonly performed total fat determination, the ETHOS X makes FAME and free fat feasible within a single platform. Its impressive exhaust system, the rugged hardware construction, the effective temperature control, and the up-to-date software features ensure the highest operator safety level throughout the process, making it the most optimum choice in the range of fat determination and analysis products.