A technology that allows us to obtain a clear picture of what happens inside a bean: near infrared radiation (NIR) is a resource with very high potential, and the prospect of very high diffusion.

NIR analysis for cereals is an innovative technique that allows you to record accurate and rapid information on the quality and composition of the cereals themselves, without the need to prepare the sample or use chemical reagents.

NIR technology is based on a process that measures the absorption and reflection of NIR radiation by grain samples and uses mathematical models (called calibrations) to correlate the spectral data with the properties of the samples. Using the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and mid-infrared (NIR) light, the chemical composition and some physical properties of cereals are determined, such as proteins, humidity, fats, ashes and other fundamental parameters for the overall evaluation of the cereal.

In fact, NIR analysis is a quick and accurate method that allows you to obtain quantitative details of the main constituents of the products: an application model capable of providing a clear picture of what happens inside the bean.

This technique was developed in the 1990s and has proven its reliability and precision for different types of cereals (e.g. wheat, corn, barley, rapeseed and soya, to name a few).

This is a process that has now become indispensable in the field of cereal analysis: its advantages range from the optimization of raw materials to saving time and costs in the manufacturing process, up to a general improvement in the field of food safety.

Fields of application of the NIR system

NIR technology covers several fields of application, including:
agriculture and animal husbandry: NIR analysis can be used to monitor the health of vegetation, agricultural productivity, the quality of fodder and animal feed, the composition of milk and meat;
food: NIR technology can be used to analyze quality and food safety parameters of products such as bread, pasta and other starchy foods.

Other NIR application sectors include the chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

Diffusion and prospects of NIR analysis

The potential of NIR analysis in the field of cereals is very high. The possibility of evaluating the quality and nutritional value of the products, as well as monitoring the storage and transport conditions, makes this solution extremely interesting.

The future prospects for NIR analysis on cereals are encouraging: an increase in demand for this technique from operators in the agri-food sector is expected, both for quality control and for product traceability.