Why Use NIR For Quality Control?
Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) is a fast, safe, and reliable technology that rapidly analyses raw ingredients and finished products. NIR allows producers to make quick and informed product adjustments giving tighter control over the manufacturing process. Quicker product and ingredient insights also helps manufacturers optimise the use of materials and ingredients and reduces off-specification product, saving reprocessing or disposal costs. NIR is a secondary technique that is calibrated by analysing a set of known samples. With analysis time at approximately 50 seconds per sample it provides real time results that can be used to directly impact on the manufacturing process. NIR (near infrared spectroscopy) can be used for quantitative analysis (determination of property concentrations); qualitative analysis (identification of raw materials, intermediate and finished products) and process control.
Routinely Used By Global Food & Feed Manufacturers
NIR analysers are installed in the world’s leading food, agricultural, dairy, pharmaceutical, chemical, petrochemical, feed, and industrial plants to ensure the raw materials and finished product meet demanding specifications. Whether it is baby formula, cookies, baked goods, medication, cosmetics or pet food for the family dog – it has undergone analysis more than once during the manufacturing process to maintain high quality.
Benefits of Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Near infrared spectroscopy is routinely deployed in food, agricultural, dairy, pharmaceutical, chemical, petrochemical and feed industries. The application of the technology varies in each industry, and many applications are custom designed to suit different companies and their specific products and needs. Here are some ideas about how NIR could benefit an organisation:
- Incoming raw materials can be analysed by NIR to verify that suppliers are sending is quality material.
- The product mix (dough, etc.) can be analysed by NIR to ensure that all ingredients were added correctly.
- Finished product can be analysed by NIR to ensure product quality and to verify label claims.
- Raw fruit can be analysed by NIR to determine optimum oil and moisture content before harvest
- Expenditure and dependence on expensive Wet Chemical analysis can be significantly reduced
- Real time results can be achieved for industries requiring fast process analysis
- Determination of property concentrations
- Identification of raw materials in intermediate and finished products (qualitative analysis)
- Specific properties concentrations (quantitative analysis) can be analysed based on their importance in the process (for example):
- Moisture control (important because it affects the taste of the product and has microbiological impacts on shelf life)
- Fat or oil (affects the taste of the product)
- Control of fat added to product, in the form of spray oil, etc., (an important cost savings for food plants).
How NIR Works
NIR works because specific organic molecules absorb specific wavelengths of NIR (near infrared) light energy. The absorptions are directly correlated with the concentration of the organic molecules. This relationship must be scaled by a primary technique, otherwise known as the wet chemistry laboratory. Therefore, the NIR is dependant upon the wet chemistry methods to attain the linear relationship between the molecular absorptions and the actual constituent concentrations.
Unity Scientific NIR Solutions
Unity Scientific offers a complete near infrared spectroscopy solution that includes application consultancy, calibration development, instrumentation, calibration software, calibration transfer software, optional pre-installed INGOT global calibrations, installation services, on-site service and on-going support.