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Rapid Analyses of Amino Acids

The German firm of Degussa, with operations in the United States, has been providing AminoNIR™ as a service to its customers in the feed industry, has offered a rapid near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) method for analyzing amino acids in feedstuffs. A firm can either send samples of feedstuffs to Degussa for analysis or they can use standard calibrations that have been standardized and calibrated with Degussa equations. The NIR technology enables the exchange of calibrations between different instruments and laboratories. The concept is that a central laboratory will establish a robust calibration and the transfer the calibration to NIR instruments in local laboratories. The central laboratory has the responsibility to continuously update the calibration using standards samples and ingredient samples that are outside the normal range of the target nutrient. The company has conducted several collaborative studies to determine the accuracy of transferring the calibration to individual laboratories. In study involving sixteen laboratories and twenty feed ingredient samples they found the coefficient of variation for the major amino acids to be in the order of 3 to 3.5 percent. The authors indicated that the calibrations for soybean meal and sunflower meal gave results with minimal variation due to more robust calibrations. (Note: This report has importance to the soybean industry because it demonstrates the concept of using a central laboratory to maintain a robust calibration for NIR analyses. NIR techniques will be needed to assess nutrient changes in value-added soybean varieties).

Llames, Cynthia and Jutta Horr. 2003. AminoNIR™ Transfer of NIR calibrations for extimation of amino acids in the worldwide network. AminoNews™ 4(1):15-18. (Copies of the report can be obtained from Degussa, 1255 Roberts Blvd., Suite 110, Kennesaw, GA. 30144-3694).