February 1st 2017
Portable instrumentation for Raman spectroscopy has rapidly evolved over the last decade, where sample testing that once occurred in the laboratory is now executed in the field (e.g. warehouse). Portable Raman spectroscopy is a powerful technique for the rapid identification of diversely sourced raw materials used in pharmaceutical processing. In addition to portability; reduced cost, rapid data acquisition and ease of use make this powerful technique attractive and accessible to both expert spectroscopists and non-specialists. In most cases, the method development can be easily accomplished in the laboratory after which the instrument and methods are transferred to field for sample analysis or warehouse areas for inspection of incoming raw material. Qualitative Raman methods for identification of raw materials typically utilize spectral libraries for sample to standard comparison. When developing Raman spectral libraries for raw material identification, great care is required when considering critical factors (e.g. instrument type, Raman capability, container type, container interference, background interference, material variability) that can potentially influence the identity of the material. This paper discusses portable Raman techniques and approaches for raw material identification, as well as key considerations for developing and validating Raman spectral libraries.