In the past 15 years our research group has been creating new optical devices to characterize in real time the extrusion process. These detectors are made of a slit-die fitted at the extruder exit from where the molten polymer flows, with a pair of transparent windows that allows a light beam to pass orthogonally through the molten flow. Following the reduction of the transmitted light intensity one is able to quantify the turbidity, which is a function of the type, concentration and particle size and shape of the second phase present in the flow. By evaluating the scattering pattern of a laser beam (LALLS) it is possible to get information upon the morphology of the molten polymeric system in real time during the extrusion. With the interposition of a pair of crossed polarizers in the optical beam, rheo-polarimetry, it is possible to evaluate quantitatively the flow birefringence, which is a function of the degree of the polymer matrix orientation. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 54:386–395, 2014. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers