The near infrared spectroscopy NIR is based on the excitation of molecular vibrations
by electromagnetic radiation in the near infrared range. In the NIR, detection
takes place at 780–2500 nm or approx. 12,800–4,000 cm-1. In this range there are
overtone or combination oscillations of the basic molecular oscillation from the
mid-infrared. NIR allows measurements through glass and the use of light guides.
The NIR data are not interpreted directly in the sample analysis, but are evaluated
with the help of statistical methods. For quantitative determinations, data
sets with a known content or concentration of the substance of interest are calibrated
The Bruker Optics dairy portfolio ranges from small, touchscreen-accessible, dedicated
NIR analyzers to multi-channel analyzers for the entire sample spectrum to
fully automatic in-process systems for closed-loop control. Any type of milk and dairy
products of any consistency can be analyzed quickly.
Advantages of the NIR process
The devices improve the efficiency of laboratory operations. At the same time,
the identity and quality of raw materials can be checked and their use optimized.
But production is also optimized by adhering to the target values and excluding
products outside of the specifications and at the same time reducing downtimes.
Typical parameters analyzed by Bruker Optics' FT-NIR analyzers in the dairy
industry include quantifying fat, protein, lactose, moisture, total solids, and more,
as well as confirming identity / quality and measuring batch conformity. Every
sample shape, regardless of whether it is liquid, semi-solid or solid, can be analyzed
in seconds during the entire process: in the laboratory, at-line near production
or in-line directly in the process.
Pre-calibrated systems for easy implementation
All Bruker Optics dairy analyzers are offered with product specific calibrations for
quick and successful implementation, including, but not limited to, raw, skimmed,
processed and condensed milk, whey and whey concentrate, cream and whey
cream, whey protein and lactose concentrate, permeates and retentates , Skimmed,
whole milk and whey powder, cheese (soft, hard, sliced, processed, white cheese,
quark, etc.), butter (salted, unsalted), yogurt, desserts, ice cream and milk drinks.
The detergent concentration and the product concentration in the pre- and postrinse
phase can also be checked in just a few seconds. Of course, vegan products,
which are becoming more and more popular today, can also be examined.
The development of robust evaluation methods is often time-consuming and
labor-intensive. Therefore, the transferability of the data and methods to other
instruments is a basic requirement for the purchase of a spectrometer. With a
spectrometer like the MPA II, which combines the highest precision, stability and
sensitivity, a smooth calibration transfer is guaranteed. Replacing optical components
or even the entire spectrometer does not affect the validity of the calibration.
Calibration to other similarly configured Bruker FT-NIR spectrometers such as
the MPA I or the devices of the Tango class can be transmitted.
Customizable working environments and simple measurement modes that guide you
through the setup of analytical methods are standard in the OPUS spectroscopy
software. Measurements can be started with a click of the mouse or the push of a
button. The smart display informs the user about the status of the measurement and
the spectrometer. This will make the device work and the software so easy that even
untrained personnel can operate the MPA II spectrometer from day one.
What trends do you see for the future in
the field of analytics?
In the dairy industry around the world with
an ever-increasing milk processing of almost
a billion tons, the need to take measurements
directly in the product flow is constantly
increasing, because manufacturers strive not
only to produce the end product in the highest
quality, but also to improve production
efficiency. In addition, the production capacities
of new systems are increasing and realtime
control is necessary here in order to be
able to react promptly. Greater control over
the manufacturing process optimizes the use
of materials; reduces or eliminates the production
of non-spec materials. This saves
product losses and incorrect batches and
improves the service life.
Conventional spectrometers can only be
installed in the vicinity of the process they are
monitoring, which means that the analyzer is
often exposed to a difficult environment with
temperature fluctuations as well as moisture
and dirt. By using the MATRIX-F process
device from Bruker and modern fiber optic
technology, the difficult to access Measuring
points can be reached.
For example, one of our customers oversees
the entire yoghurt production process.
He checks the following measuring points:
Outside of production, the delivery of raw milk
In production, monitoring whole and skimmed
milk production and storage
The control of the cream separation and addition
Monitoring the yogurt mixes
The milk powder monitoring and
The measurement is carried out with fiber
optics in process reactors or pipelines, sometimes
over large distances. This gives the
company a better understanding of processes
and better quality control of intermediate
and end products while saving costs at the
same time. As a result, the somewhat more
complex process installations pay for themselves
Thanks very much!
Dr. Andreas Niemöller
Bruker Optics GmbH & Co. KG