Digital Re-print - May | June 2012

NIR in practice

Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2010 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872



Companies are faced with increasing levels of costs associated with quality control1. Using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a quality control method can help reduce such costs. But what is NIR, how does it work in practice, and most importantly, how do companies employ NIR to help their quality control processes?

by Chris Piotrowski, Director, Aunir, UK


IR spectroscopy is an analytical technique that allows a rapid, non-destructive determination of a sample’s properties. It is used in various industries for identifying compounds and chemical structures which can then be accurately related to the nutritional, chemical and physical properties of the material.

How does it work?
Traditional ‘wet chemistry’ facilitates a greater level of understanding about the make-up of different materials. However, this technique requires heavy investment of time and money.

on the reading pane of an NIR spectrometer, which will then take the measurement and produce a spectra file. NIR analysis is very quick and simple, meaning that individuals operating the equipment do not need any special qualifications. Another benefit to NIR analysis is that there are no hazardous chemicals involved, allowing analysis to be carried out at various stages of production. And since NIR is non-destructive, it is perfect for use in plant breeding and raw material quality control since the sample can be used again.

Who uses NIR?
Sample analysis can be carried out in the following three ways. Firstly, by an agreed standard method such as protein analysis (Dumas or kjeldahl). Secondly, by empirical methods such as those employed for oil or crude fibre analysis. Finally, there are subjective methods based on experience such as taste or smell, but these subjective methods are not an accurate measure for quality control purposes. Traditionally, quality control is carried out through wet chemistry analysis, but since this method is slow and expensive, alternatives such as NIR spectroscopy have been sought out. NIR can be used across a wide range of industries. Animal feed and ingredients, flour and milling, wet and dried forage, animal proteins, pet food, aqua feed and plant breeding companies all utilise NIR analysis.

Understanding NIR
Analysis of chemical compounds has rapidly evolved over the last century, but there are still many parameters measured which are not true compounds. For example, crude fibre is the material which remains after the action of acid and alkali on a sample of feed. There is no such compound in nature. Whereas reference chemistry on such compounds is not reliable, alternative techniques such as NIR remain pure. Scanning a sample using NIR will only produce a spectra file. This then needs to be compared to a database of other spectra files of known substances in order to correctly determine the components in the material. Calibration databases are expensive to create in terms of both time and financial investment. Thus, a market in which the licensing of spectra databases for reference purposes has developed. Licensing a set of calibrations cuts out the need for massive financial investment and eliminates any time delay in obtaining results since the predicted data is immediately available. Once an NIR machine is set up with calibrations, the technique for carrying out analysis is relatively simple and thus can be carried out by any member of staff, not necessarily a highly skilled technician. The results of NIR analysis are available instantly, allowing important decisions about quality control to be taken immediately. The future of NIR capability will allow further flexibility for analysis.

NIR in the pet food industry
NIR is a proven technique used by pet food manufacturers for the rapid, on-site multi-component analysis of raw materials and pet foods. Samples of pet food require little or no preparation, making NIR a quick, clean and chemical-free way of analysing for key quality parameters such as protein, oil, fibre, ash, moisture and even starch gelatinisation. An NIR system is ideal for rapid analysis and it lowers the cost of achieving quality because it allows increased testing frequency at no extra cost. Analysis using NIR technology is employed by 90 percent of UK-based pet food manufacturers. As part of the Premier Pet Nutrition complete pet nutrition package, pet food and raw material NIR calibration factors are provided. The NIR calibration factors help pet food brands to constantly improve standards for product quality, conformity, assurance and safety. The impact NIR can have on a pet food manufacturers business is illustrated by one of Premier Nutrition’s clients who saved €100,000 in one year by using NIR as part of a complete pet nutrition package.

Organic molecules absorb infrared radiation at an energy that is characteristic of their composition. Every chemical compound is characterised by one of six types of molecular vibration; symmetrical stretching, asymmetrical stretching, scissoring, rocking, wagging or twisting. Each of these types of vibration absorbs light energy at a different frequency. NIR spectroscopy measures the absorption of light energy shone at a material in order to produce a spectra. The resulting spectra can then be compared to other spectra of known materials to identify it. In practice, a sample of material is placed
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FEATURE Premier Pet Nutrition also uses NIR innovatively at its own factory to test every incoming micro-ingredient (for example, vitamins, minerals, and nutraceuticals) to ensure identity and conformity. This adds another level of assurance in the final premix product. solubility. The service allows monitoring of cereal quality, anticipating any variation, and assisting with decisions on dosing of additives such as feed enzymes. Adding an enzyme to the feed, for example, will maximise productivity and uniformity even when the cereal quality varies between batches and seasons. NIR spectroscopy is used by over 50 percent of animal feed manufacturers worldwide, confirming the value that can be gained from NIR in commercial applications.

NIR in determining corn quality
Feed represents around 70 percent of the cost of production of monogastric animals globally. Sourcing low cost ingredients is important for the economic success of companies involved in animal production, as is the quality of these ingredients. Ingredient quality will impact animal performance and consequently production costs. Cereals such as corn, sorghum and wheat are generally the major ingredients in animal feed formulations and so their quality will have a direct effect on animal performance. The Corn Quality Service is a service provided by AB Vista, in association with Aunir. The service allows customers to automatically predict the quality of corn used in their feeds by determining the cereal composition and quality parameters such as vitreousness and protein

If you are not profiting from Quality Control, Sampling and Analysis, why do any of it? Steven Tayfield, May 2012. Published in Feed Compounder, May 2012, p. 28-29.

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behind Italian company SEA to aimed at strengthening the “With more than 40 years’ member of the Cimbria group, acquire one hundred percent of company’s product and market experience in the market, SEA is for the benefit of both customers the shares in the company. SEA posi t ion vi a org anic and recognised today for its excellent and suppliers,” says Antonio of optical initiatives. It the SEA NEWS May - June 2012 ews is a leader in the development acquisitivefirst acquisitionissince quality in the field electronic Uzzo, managing director of“We sorting and other and the company’s founder. and manufacture of sorting company’s equipment for sorting grain, Axcel became the majority sorting technologies, and the now have the potential to grow seeds and other industrial shareholder at Cimbria in company represents a good fit and attract new customers by in relation to Cimbria’s aim to means of the strong market products by means of colour or August 2011. no significantprimarily sells its In 2011 SEAinhad a turnover high quotationsproducts and feed materials combined 2012 despite supply high-quality for major position of the resonance. SEA market trend expected of approximately DKK 70 full-line solutions within seed company,” he adds. equipment in Europe. and seasonal drought in n the wake of the 55th FEFAC to a lesser extent, Italy, managed Outlook for 2012 million and a profit ratio of corn plants and other industrial South America, will further Annual General Meeting on to buck the general market trend FEFAC experts identified the With the acquisition of SEA, approximately 20 percent. The products,” says Karsten Larsen, More inforMation: affect the profitability of ‘EU CAP reform impact on with positive growth around following key drivers for the Cimbria’s range of mechanical company expects to see growth managing director of Cimbria. Lars Nørgaard, Sales the livestock industry, in EU livestock and feed sector / EU three percent, supported by a compound feed market in 2012: sor ting equipment will be in both sales and earnings “At the same time, we’re Director, Cimbra particular the pig food waste strategy’ on June 15, surprisingly quick recovery of pig • On the livestock sector side, supplemented by optical colour this year. SEA has around 35 convinced that in years Strip +45 72 422420for Quantitative to • On the supply side, farmers; Tel: Tests the persisting 2012 in Brussels, FEFAC members farming activity. the entry into application of sorting and other electronic employees at its factory in come SEA’s products will meet Email: problems on the trade of have provided final estimates for The high cereal prices over the the new cages standard for Website: solutions, thus completing Imola in northern Italy. SEA’s a growing demand driven by maize co-products (DDGs, the compound feed production last two years contributed to laying hens from 1 January ß and the new groupAflatoxins Corn gluten feed) linked to for the EU-271 in 2011. The total improve the competitive market 2012 asynchronous approval housing requirements for sows production estimate is now set at position of industrial compound ß Deoxynivalenol (DON) of not yet authorised GM events, which may lead to a significant 151 mio. t, i.e. 0.3 percent below feed production vs. home mixing. reduction in young sows the figure for 2010. Cattle and pig However, this gain was offset to a ß Fumonisins &despite the adoption of the technical solution last year. replacement in certain producer feed have seen their production certain extent by the development As a consequence, regions; the development fall, respectively by -2.1 and -0.6 of alternative pig feeding strategies ß GMOs of the Australia and NewFEFAC experts uxi General Corp Supply and Marketing has finished several projects in Zealand and foresee a stabilisation in cattle feed Schmallenberg virus in ruminant percent, whereas poultry feed based on roughly grinded feed and taken the lead in serving the fields of flour, now working on a project in the Philippines for a famous production, a slight increase in populations may also weigh on increased by 1.1percent, thereby liquid feeding. rice, feed milling processing for more than flour mill. poultry feed demand (+1 percent) the demand; confirming its position of leading As a result, Germany’s position 20 years. The corporation offers complete solutions We have just launched a new generation roller mill made offset by a reduction in the demand segment of compound feed as leading EU country in terms of • On the feed demand side, the The AgraVision™ is a new robust handheld reader with printer! to the industries, including engineering of turn-key of cast iron, which is stronger than a welded structure. total compound feed production for layer feeds (-5 percent) and high quotations for all feed slightly above pig feed. projects as well as single machine and spare parts Some parts, such as the feed plate and discharge hopper, before France was strengthened, a further setback in pig feed materials, whether energy supply. are made of stainless steel which is better for food hygiene. sources like cereals or protein production (-0.5percent). Overall, The most important factors which with Spain scoring third. As food hygiene has become more and more important, Our company is always ready to supply you good Chinese 1 compound feed production is sources like soybean meal, weighed on theTelfeed demand in6153310 (AT) and Luxembourg EU +43 2272 Greece, Malta a lot of stainless steel parts are now used in grain process- grain processing machinery, spare parts and service. expected to remain stable vs. 2011. due to high Chinese demand 2011 were the still fragile economic excluded Tel +44we have undertaken many projects to 845 5192010 (UK) ing mills. Recently, situation of the pig E-Mailspouting and fittings to stainless steel More inforMation: change mild steel sector and the high INDUSTRIAL COMPOUND PRODUCTION spouting and fittings for many old flour mills. We have feed material costs. As estimates (1 000 t ) CATTLE PIGS POULTRY MILKREPLACERS OTHERS TOTAL regards ruminants, the 2010 2011 %TAV 2010 2011 %TAV 2010 2011 %TAV 2010 2011 %TAV 2010 2011 %TAV 2010 2011 %TAV severe drought on the may - June 2012 | 11 Grain&feed millinG technoloGy first months led to a DE 6.120 6.342 3,6 9.405 9.934 5,6 5.581 5.711 2,3 150 152 1,3 763 723 -5,2 22.019 22.862 3,8 FR 5.144 5.170 0,5 5.771 5.643 -2,2 8.626 8.624 0,0 385 357 -7,3 1.552 1.517 -2,3 21.478 21.311 -0,8 lower forage harvest IT 3.683 3.720 1,0 3.241 3.400 4,9 5.730 5.800 1,2 155 155 0,0 1.456 1.475 1,3 14.265 14.550 2,0 during the spring cut NL 3.433 3.451 0,5 5.863 5.734 -2,2 3.793 3.801 0,2 703 652 -7,3 527 496 -5,9 14.319 14.134 -1,3 GFMT12.03.indd 11 22/06/2012 but this was offset by BE 1.182 1.244 5,2 3.666 3.653 -0,4 1.408 1.365 -3,1 42 39 -7,1 148 159 7,4 6.446 6.460 0,2 UK 4.982 4.855 -2,5 1.617 1.647 1,9 6.600 6.460 -2,1 1 1 1.427 1.334 -6,5 14.627 14.297 -2,3 the good autumnal IE 2.305 2.102 -8,8 580 650 12,1 448 513 14,5 6 6 0,0 398 353 -11,3 3.737 3.624 -3,0 weather conditions that DK 905 860 -5,0 2.887 2.648 -8,3 535 545 1,9 0 0 198 174 -12,1 4.525 4.227 -6,6 favoured grass growth. ES 6.800 6.000 -11,8 8.884 8.550 -3,8 4.483 4.800 7,1 0 0 716 764 6,7 20.883 20.114 -3,7 EU Member PT 750 720 -4,0 920 890 -3,3 1.420 1.420 0,0 0 0 278 255 -8,3 3.368 3.285 -2,5 AT 438 444 1,4 256 275 7,4 471 476 1,1 0 0 230 307 33,5 1.395 1.502 7,7 countries recorded SE 872 850 -2,5 385 350 -9,1 554 550 -0,7 1 1 0,0 149 145 -2,7 1.961 1.896 -3,3 very heterogeneous FI 616 610 -1,0 342 310 -9,4 291 300 3,1 0 0 101 100 -1,0 1.350 1.320 -2,2 performances, with CY 110 120 9,1 13 50 284,6 64 54 -15,6 1 1 0,0 108 103 -4,6 296 328 10,8 CZ 469 448 -4,5 935 795 -15,0 993 887 -10,7 4 4 0,0 360 229 -36,4 2.761 2.363 -14,4 some experiencing EE 40 40 0,0 140 140 0,0 48 48 0,0 0 0 2 2 0,0 230 230 0,0 dramatic falls of their HU 505 530 5,0 1.490 1.410 -5,4 1.680 1.660 -1,2 : : 195 630 223,1 3.870 4.230 9,3 compound feed LV 52 52 0,0 90 90 0,0 169 169 0,0 0 0 30 30 0,0 341 341 0,0 production such as LT 45 48 6,7 70 78 11,4 284 288 1,4 2 2 0,0 11 14 27,3 412 430 4,4 PL 767 780 1,7 1.693 1.700 0,4 5.118 5.330 4,1 0 0 328 340 3,7 7.906 8.150 3,1 Czech Republic (-14 %) SK 196 198 1,0 224 204 -8,9 231 226 -2,2 0 0 10 12 20,0 661 640 -3,2 or Denmark (-6.6%), SI 91 91 0,0 65 65 0,0 255 255 0,0 0 0 12 11 -8,3 423 422 -0,2 whereas sever al BU 93 94 1,1 234 240 2,6 553 590 6,7 0 0 24 24 0,0 904 948 4,9 countries such as RO 150 155 3,3 1.475 1.500 1,7 1.620 1.650 1,9 0 0 15 20 33,3 3.260 3.325 2,0 1,1 1.450 1.370 -5,5 9.038 9.217 2,0 151.437 150.989 -0,3 Germany, Poland and, EUR27* 39.748 38.924 -2,1 50.246 49.956 -0,6 50.955 51.522


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