Solutions for Agriculture and Food Applications
The need for greater efficiency, quality, and safety in agricultural production is increasingly being addressed through the introduction of spectroscopic techniques during and after production and processing. The rugged and field-deployable characteristics of compact, dispersive array spectrometers along with the inherent benefits of fiber optic sampling are driving increasing adoption of this technology in agricultural operations. The application of spectroscopy to botany, horticulture and agriculture enables sophisticated spectral analysis of wavelengths of interest to plant scientists. Fiber-optic spectrometers provide the added benefit of real-time in-situ measurements of plants. Avantes’ instruments are being used in a variety of plant applications ran–ging from chlorophyll detection in crops to the measurements of sugar (ºBx or brix) in fruit, and radiometric measurements of light levels in greenhouse environments.
Avantes works with a variety of agricultural customers ranging from researchers through industrial operations.
Fruit sorting operations often utilize multi-variate analysis of spectra in the NIR 850-1100 nm to derive sugar (⁰Bx or brix). Avantes AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 and AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 back-thinned CCD spectrometers are ideal instruments for this diffuse reflection application, where sensitivity and high speed are required.
The third and second overtone of the near infrared can be used to determine organic nitrogen and protein through the characterization of the C-H, N-H, and O-H stretching vibrations in these spectral regions. These bands are weakly absorbing, which has the advantage of facilitating unprocessed grain seed because low absorbance means that the material is mostly transparent allowing for deeper penetration. The downside to these bands that is that they produce low signal intensity and this obviates the need for good signal to noise performance. The Avantes AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 and AvaSpec-ULS2048X16 back-thinned CCD spectrometers are ideal instruments for this measurement. For even higher performance into the 2nd overtone, the AvaSpec-NIS256-1.7 instrument is a very affordable InGaAs sensor instrument.
Direct leaf measurement provides for the characterization of a variety of plant health parameters. The new AvaSpec-Mini is an ideal instrument for handheld measurements such as leaf reflection or transmission.
Crop/Plant Health & Intelligent Fertilizer Application
Chlorophyll measurements in the visible and near-infrared regions can be used to approximate plant health using reflection techniques on plant foliage. The AvaSpec-128-USB2 spectrometer is particularly well suited to this application due to its high speed and quantum efficiency in the region from 600-1100 nm. The Avaspec-128-USB2 can acquire spectra at 8000 scans per second. Integrated systems have been developed with the AvaSpec-128-USB2 to measure chlorophyll in real time and intelligently apply fertilizers to crops based upon sophisticated chemometric models while driving through a field at 40 kilometers per hour.
Dairy Product Characterization
Dairy operations are some of most demanding for spectroscopic process control. Near-infrared spectroscopy in the second and third overtones can be used to measure a variety of parameters of interest for the dairy industry such as moisture content, solids non-fat, fat, protein and adulterants. Avantes NIRline instruments are ideally suited to this application with 3-stage thermo-electric cooling and fast numerical apertures optical designs to maximize spectral acquisition speeds. The AvaSpec-NIR256-1.7-TEC and AvaSpec-NIR512-1.7-TEC are ideal candidates for this application.
Numerous plant biologists have deployed Avantes AvaSpec-ULS2048L-USB2 and AvaSpec-ULS2048-USB2 spectrometers into the field for in-situ reflection measurements of fruit and flower specimen measurements using the AvaLight-XE pulsed Xenon source for an excitation source and the FCR-7UV400-2-ME fiber-optic reflection probe for sampling. Avantes’ convenient battery packs facilitate these types of field measurements where access to electricity is not possible.
- Spectroscopy in Agriculture Application Note
- Fruit Sorting Application Note
- pdf Evaluation grape quality by a simple VISNIR system (488 KB)
- pdf Rapid evaluation of craft beer quality during fermentation process by vis/NIR spectroscopy (712 KB)