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NIR destined to be major analytical influence

Feedstuffs published a special report on near-infrared reflectance (NIR) and near infrared transmittance (NIT) spectroscopy in the feed industry. The authors reported that these technologies are destined to become major analytical tools for the feed industry in feedstuffs analysis, nutrition management and quality control. The first NIR instruments and applications were reported about 25 years ago. NIR applications have expanded rapidly. Recently, NIT instruments have increased in popularity due to advances of very minimal, or no, sample preparation. NIT is commonly used for the analysis of the major components in whole cereals, grains and oilseeds. The analysis of protein, oil, starch and moisture in a single sample of grain can be done simultaneously, in about 60-90 seconds. Standard errors of prediction of protein, oil, and moisture for soybeans were reported to be 0.6, 0.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively.

The authors reported their experience using NIR/NIT analysis varied with specific applications. Protein and moisture determinations by NIR/NIT is superior to any other method. Analysis of oil content and discrimination of the various carbohydrate fractions is comparable in accuracy to standard methods of analysis. NIR/NIT can give good estimates of gross and metabolizable energy contents, however, slightly higher accuracy can be obtained by using NIR/NIT proximate values and predictive models. NIR can give useable estimates of all important amino acids in most feed stuffs evaluated. These amino acid estimates are not as accurate as the standard methods of analysis, but appear to be acceptable for feed formulation. Both NIR and NIT perform well for the analysis of unsaturated fatty acids (oleic, linoleic and linolenic)in oilseeds. NIR also performs adequately in the analysis of saturated fatty acids in oilseeds.

Feed industry use of NIR/NIT methods will expand. The authors reported that using current NIR/NIT technology, it is both practical and cost-efficient for any company to analyze the quality and composition of all incoming feed ingredients and to control feed formulation accordingly.

Dyer, D.J. and P Feng. 1997. NIR destined to be major analytical influence. Feedstuffs. November 10. P16-25.