Providing Accurate Quality Control for Yogurt Production Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) analysis has been deployed to establish the quality of dairy foods, including cheese, dairy powders, ice cream mixes and more, for decades. Over time, NIR calibrations have advanced to measure dairy products for fat, moisture, protein and other key parameters.

Providing Accurate Quality Control for Yoghurt Production Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)

Image Credit: KPM Analytics

These calibrations have become more repeatable over the years by virtue of consistent research and application customization, all in the effort to assist dairy foods producers in the verification of quality throughout the entire production process, and consequently, enhance the consistency of final products.

Cultured dairy products, such as yogurt, are an ever-expanding division of dairy foods that provide numerous health benefits and in a variety that satisfies most consumers’ tastes. All cultured dairy products are cultivated by introducing live active cultures to milk, which initiates a fermentation process.

Yogurt development requires the product to be incubated for a period of time at a controlled temperature as the fermentation process takes effect. Subsequently, the product is then packaged and refrigerated.

However, the consistent production of high-quality yogurt is made difficult by the natural variations inherent in the raw ingredients and the cultures used to produce the products. With the assistance of at-line NIR analysis and calibrations, yogurt manufacturers can evaluate and control key quality parameters and mitigate against instances of batch inconsistencies.

A Novel, Customized NIR Calibration for a Superior Yogurt Variety

Each NIR calibration is a mathematical correlation between raw NIR data extracted from a sample contrast against a chemical constituent or property of interest.

The samples used to generate a calibration should be characteristic of the future unknown samples to be measured across all aspects of possible variability, including constituent range(s), origin, seasonal variation, etc.

Gathering the appropriate samples is usually the most challenging step when attempting to create a NIR calibration. A minimum number of samples (~50 for most products) is needed to acquire a provisional calibration, but more elaborate calibrations can necessitate hundreds or thousands of samples contingent on the type of product.

Also, not all samples should be “ideal” in terms of parameter quality – it is good to introduce out-of-specification or poor quality samples to determine a more accurate final calibration.

Providing Accurate Quality Control for Yoghurt Production Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)

Image Credit: KPM Analytics

Recently, a large dairy foods producer – who previously introduced at-line SpectraStar-XT NIR technology to evaluate the quality of dairy powder – contacted KPM Analytics to help formulate a new application to quantify fat, protein and total sugar content in yogurt.

Fast and accurate analysis throughout production could help guarantee appropriate manufacturing conditions, leading to better product quality and limited wastage.

Early detection of issues in the raw ingredients or manufacturing processes gives the production manager time to sort the issue or terminate time-consuming and expensive production of inferior products.

As each yogurt manufacturer has proprietary ingredients, recipes, and processes, this specific user required a tailored solution for a particular yogurt variety, which could be introduced across many sites around the country. This is where decades of experience developing specialized calibrations for novel applications became key to helping solve this customer’s challenge.

A team of KPM Analytics applications specialists worked closely with the quality control manager for this dairy project. As they previously worked together for the dairy powder application, they were well-prepared with a protocol to share calibration data with the team and an instrument ready to collect data.

The first experiments with the SpectraStar XT-R system were devoted to a low-temperature yogurt, and initial calibration of around 70 samples demonstrated excellent accuracy and repeatability that was much the same as the reference lab performance. 

Further validation of 50 samples at the customer’s site reaffirmed the performance, and the customer was content with the repeatability and accuracy of the results.

Consequently, the customer has acquired multiple SpectraStar XT analyzers for their yogurt division with continued cooperation and calibration development between the two companies.

The immediate plans are to introduce the calibration developed into production and increase the calibrations to encompass other varieties of yogurt, including high protein fruit grain yogurts and fruit grain yogurts.

Additionally, calibrations for other products, such as flavored milk and products in the development stage, will be designed to offer a dynamic analytical capacity for this dairy producer. 

Solutions to Help Dairy Foods Producers Measure Quality Everywhere it Matters

Along with NIR analysis, KPM Analytics possesses analytical solutions to oversee the pH, temperature and other key parameters in the dairy acidification process, along with vision inspection solutions to analyze final products objectively for shape, size, color and other physical qualities at full-line speeds.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by KPM Analytics.

For more information on this source, please visit KPM Analytics.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    KPM Analytics. (2022, January 20). Providing Accurate Quality Control for Yogurt Production Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR). AZoM. Retrieved on May 21, 2022 from https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=21141.

  • MLA

    KPM Analytics. "Providing Accurate Quality Control for Yogurt Production Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)". AZoM. 21 May 2022. <https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=21141>.

  • Chicago

    KPM Analytics. "Providing Accurate Quality Control for Yogurt Production Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)". AZoM. https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=21141. (accessed May 21, 2022).

  • Harvard

    KPM Analytics. 2022. Providing Accurate Quality Control for Yogurt Production Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR). AZoM, viewed 21 May 2022, https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=21141.

Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Submit