In its August 2011 Issue of Research Kernels, the Centers for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR), published results of a study conducted by Paul Armstrong and J. Tallada.
The summary reads:
Corn hardness is an important property for dry and wetmillers,food processors and corn breeders developinghybrids for specific markets. While several methods areused to measure hardness, kernel density provides one of the most repeatable methods to quantify hardness.
Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) provides an attractive method to measure kernel density as it is nondestructive and can also measure other kernel attributes that may be related to processing the grain or hybrid development.
Currently, some commercial NIRS instruments do measure density of bulk samples. Singleseed NIRS, however, may provide additional informationand capabilities by measuring single kernels. This has potential applications for breeders or quality control personnel wishing to look at variability within samples and for sorting.
This study found that NIRS could roughly determine density of corn samples by averaging single kernel values and that sorting individual samples into high and low density fractions was possible. The latter may be particularly useful for breeders wishing to increase hybrid kernel densities.