Spectroscopy in Agricultural Analysis and Food QC

Through the introduction of spectroscopic methods during and after production and processing, the need for better efficiency, safety, and quality in agricultural production is increasingly being addressed.

Agriculture, Food, Quality Control, Spectroscopy, QC

Image Credit: Ievgenii Meyer/Shutterstock.com

The combination of the rugged and field deployable features of compact, dispersive array spectrometers and the inherent advantages of fiber optic sampling is driving widespread adoption of this technology in agricultural operations.

Avantes provides solutions for numerous agricultural customers ranging from researchers to industrial operators.

Fruit Sorting

In fruit sorting operations, multi-variate analysis of spectra in the NIR 850 - 1100 nm is often utilized to derive sugar (°Bx or brix). Avantes AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 and AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 back-thinned CCD spectrometers are ideally suited for this diffuse reflection application, where high speed and sensitivity are needed.

Grain Measurement

The second and third overtone of the near infrared can be employed to measure organic nitrogen and protein through the characterization of the N-H, C-H, and O-H stretching vibrations in these spectral regions. These bands are weakly absorbing, which has the benefit of enabling unprocessed grain seed, because low absorbance means that the material is mostly transparent allowing for deeper penetration.

The drawback of these bands is that they produce low signal intensity, which obviates the need for good signal to noise performance. The AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 back-thinned and Avantes AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 CCD spectrometers are suitable instruments for this measurement.

The AvaSpec-NIS256-1.7 instrument is a very economical InGaAs sensor instrument for higher performance into the second overtone.

Leaf/Foliage Measurements

Various plant health parameters can be effectively characterized using direct leaf measurement. The AvaSpec-Mini is a suitable instrument for handheld measurements such as leaf transmission or reflection.

Crop/Plant Health and Intelligent Fertilizer Application

With chlorophyll measurements in the near and visible infrared regions, plant health can be approximated using reflection techniques on plant foliage. Due to its high speed and quantum efficiency in the region of 600 - 1100 nm, the AvaSpec-128-USB2 spectrometer is ideally suited for this application quantum efficiency and high speed in the region from 600 - 1100 nm.

The Avaspec-128-USB2 is capable of acquiring spectra at 8000 scans per second. Integrated systems have been built with the AvaSpec-128-USB2 for real-time chlorophyll measurements and for intelligent application of fertilizers to crops based on advanced chemometric models, while driving through a field at a speed of 40 km per hour.

Dairy Product Characterization

Dairy operations are one of the most demanding for spectroscopic process control. Near infrared spectroscopy in the second and third overtones can be employed to determine a number of parameters of interest for the dairy sector such as protein, solids non-fat, fat, moisture content, and adulterants.

Avantes NIRline instruments are an ideal option for this application with three-stage thermo-electric cooling and rapid numerical aperture optical designs to optimize spectral acquisition speeds. The AvaSpec-NIR512-1.7- TEC and AvaSpec-NIR256-1.7-TEC are suitable instruments for this application.

Why Avantes for Agriculture and Food Applications?

  • Reliability in the field, due to robust technology and simplicity
  • Specify color and quality of food
  • High production yield facilitated by rapid spectroscopy for in-line monitoring systems (High sensitivity, quick data-acquisition/-transfer)
  • Broad range of customized spheres and probes
  • Dedicated spectral light intensity meter for enhancing light conditions in Plant Production Chamber (Hortispec)
  • Avantes engineers to support users’ OEM development, from component to total design

Useful Accessories and Instruments for Agriculture

Avasphere-50-LS-HAL Industrial Probe AvaSpec-ULSi
Combining sphere with internal halogen lamp Industrial probe for flowers and thick fluids AvaSpec-ULSi OEM modular spectrometer
Suitable for diffuse reflection on leaves, grains, fruit Ideal for direct measurements of powders Easy to combine spectrometer into systems.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Avantes BV.

For more information on this source, please visit Avantes BV.


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