NIR spectroscopy is well recognized as a reliable method to measure moisture, protein, and fat in food and agricultural samples. By taking NIR spectroscopy technology into the production facility in the form of a portable, handheld unit, such as the Thermo Scientific microPHAZIR AG analyzer, feed manufacturers can obtain actionable, real-time results while reducing costs from third-party testing.
Portable NIR spectroscopy instruments can be taken anywhere and used anytime throughout the manufacturing process. For example, they can be used to inspect feed ingredients as they arrive, allowing manufacturers to determine in real time whether to accept or reject a load.
Many large feed manufacturers have benchtop NIR systems used by staff scientists to build calibration libraries and interpret results. Portable NIR instrumentation can augment these capabilities by taking lab-proven technology off the bench and making it usable by non-scientists such as feed plant workers. Results that are available within minutes in the manufacturing facility are more actionable, enabling decisions that can increase the profitability of each load.
Accurate Testing with Aunir INGOT® Calibrations
When evaluating a new feed analysis technology, one of the most important considerations is accuracy. By accurately measuring and controlling the percentage of protein, fat, and moisture in feed, manufacturers can increase their profitability. For example, consistent control of the protein content allows manufacturers to reduce overages in high-cost ingredients while simultaneously avoiding costly financial penalties that could result from under delivering on protein. Similarly, by controlling moisture to within acceptable levels, manufacturers avoid delivering more grain per pound due to lost water weight.
The Thermo Scientific microPHAZIR AG is the first portable feed analyzer of its kind. During its development, tests were conducted in conjunction with specialists from Aunir to verify the design concept. Aunir is an industry leader in the development of NIR calibration libraries that are used in the feed industry with benchtop NIR systems from many manufacturers.
Once the performance was verified, a full suite of Aunir calibration libraries were transferred to the instrument allowing for the analysis of five categories of animal feed and eight categories of feed ingredients. The Aunir calibration libraries were developed based on more than 30,000 standard samples. The Aunir libraries are widely used for feed analysis in many benchtop instruments today. This full suite of pre-loaded calibration libraries enables the handheld analyzer to be used right “out of the box” with minimal training and adjustments required.
Consistent Feed Quality at Least Cost
Portable NIR spectroscopy represents the future of feed quality analysis. As feed manufacturers continue to face increased ingredient costs and reduced profitability, handheld NIR analyzers such as the Thermo Scientific microPHAZIR AG, offer cost saving results in real time. With minimal training, users can perform on-site analysis to ensure consistent feed quality and reduce production costs.
In addition, by providing on-site test results, portable NIR instruments can help animal producers to ensure that animals are always getting the appropriate feed mix at every production phase. With minimal training, users can verify that the feed mix that they are providing is the correct one to keep their livestock on track.
Bill Grube is a senior product manager in the Thermo Scientific Portable Analytical Instruments business, managing the handheld near infrared spectroscopy product line. Prior to joining Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bill served in a variety of Product Management and Technical Marketing roles at Philips Healthcare. In these roles, he developed and supported portable patient monitoring and defibrillation products. Prior to joining Philips Healthcare, Bill worked as a Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.
Bill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and interdisciplinary science from Trinity College and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information, call (978) 642-1132 or email the Thermo Fisher team at email@example.com.