Fat and other nutritional values can easily be determined by NIR analysis. However a proper sample preparation beforehand is essential for a correct result.
The fat content is one of the most important parameters for the quality control of food and feed. On the one hand, the fat content contributes greatly to the nutritional value of a product; on the other hand, some fats (e.g. milk fat or cocoa fat) are quite expensive components and should therefore be used economically.
Fat Analysis MethodsThere are various methods of quantitative fat analysis. Which method is applied depends on the sample material, the required accuracy and the time frame. Solvent extraction according to Soxhlet and Weibull-Stoldt are two of the classic methods but need a separate step to determine the fat content.
In addition to the above mentioned classic extraction methods Near Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy has established itself as an alternative. This method not only allows for the determination of the fat content within seconds, but also of further important parameters such as protein, humidity, and carbohydrates. Moreover, NIR spectroscopy is carried out without the use of chemicals and can be applied close to the production process. For quantitative NIR analysis, inhomogeneous samples will yield inaccurate results. If the concentration of fat is not distributed homogeneously, the results can vary greatly, depending on the part of the sample which was analyzed. To avoid this, it is important to carry out reproducible size reduction of the sample before it is measured in the spectrometer.
Size Reduction of Samples with a High Fat Content
Accurate and reproducible results are essential for proper sample preparation. This can be assured by using the correct equipment, which gently but effectively homogenizes the sample.
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