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The role of NIR in feed management.

An excellent discussion on the role of near-infrared spect-roscopy (NIR) and near-infrared transmission (NIT) in feed formulation appeared in a recent issue of Feed Management magazine. These instruments are now capable of analyzing feed ingredients in less than a minute and provides the feed formulator a tool to change feed formulation based on the composition of the available ingredient, no longer is there a need to use "average" values for ingredients.

NIR equipment uses a portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum just above the visible region to “see” the organic bonds in the protein, fat, fiber and moisture molecules that make up the feed ingredient. NIT equipment uses a smaller region of the infrared spectrum and mea-sures transmission of light through the feed ingredient. The advan-tage of NIT equipment is that the protein, fat and moisture of whole (unground) soybeans can be measured quickly and accurately. These analytical instruments are finding increasing use in feed mills interested in developing accurate nutrient measurements of feed ingredients used in least-cost feed formulations. The article provided a nice review of the role of these new tools in feed management.

Bedore, Nancy. 2000. The role of NIR in feed management. Feed Management 51:23-24