The near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) technology is the same, but the unit design has changed and is smaller, taking up less space in the laboratory.
Cups are ejected after analysis and collected in a hopper and XDS has a full spectrum (400–2500 nm) research-grade spectrometer.
It can be used in the dairy industry for applications such as protein analysis and the meat sector for fat analysis.
Richard Mills, from Foss, told FoodQualityNews.com that common measuring can be done quickly compared to traditional chemical analysis.
“In dairy production for example, you can look what is protein, fats and moisture, if you are making cheese, and control processes more tightly and make better use of your raw material and make more money because you have a clearer idea of protein levels.”
Mills explained about the Kjeldahl method for the determination of nitrogen in chemical substances, which was developed in 1883.
“It is still used today as one of the main reference methods for Nitrogen analysis, but it takes a while and there are a lot of different steps.
“Foss is helping to automate the process and make it quicker but the reference method must still be there.”
Element analysis or material identification testing is performed on samples contained within vials, bags, bottles or with sample presentation modules.
The auto sampler allows for unattended analysis of up to 50 samples at a time and NIR measuring can take less than a minute.
He said that the machine can go close to production lines for dairy and meat applications.
“It allows information on the spot when [food producers] need it, if there is something strange with fat for example, in meat applications you have the result quick. The other way is to take the sample to the lab and do the reference method which can be a day or two.”
He said NIR reflectance measures mostly the surface of the product so is suitable for applications such as milk powder.
Different wavelengths of NIR can analyse cheese, for example, as they can penetrate through the surface of the product.
“A trend we are seeing is the need to measure continuously. A food producer takes a sample, puts it in the machine and gets the result straight away,” he said.
“NIR infrared sensor can be put into a pipe and it constantly measures as it the product goes by and shows the results on a PC screen, so you can see instantly what is going on, such as fat content getting too high.
“Getting the fat content dead on or improving analysis by half a percent makes a difference when shipping tons of product.”