The objective of this study was to determine whether mid-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy could be used in the same manner as near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to quantitatively determine the protein content of ground wheat samples. One hundred and thirty hard red winter wheat samples were assayed for protein by combustion and scanned in the near- and mid-infrared. Samples (UDY ground) were scanned neat in the near-infrared from 1100 nm (9091 cm -1) to 2498 nm (4003 cm -1) on a scanning monochromator and in the mid-infrared from 4000 cm -1 (2500 nm) to 400 cm -1 (25,000 nm) on a Fourier transform spectrometer at 4- and 16-cm -1 resolutions. Protein content varied from a low of 8.98% to a high of 18.70% (average of 12.86% with a standard deviation of 1.66% ). Calibrations developed with the use of partial least-squares gave an R2 and bias-corrected standard error of performance of 0.999 and 0.054 for the near-infrared and 0.997 and 0.085 for the mid-infrared (4 cm -1 resolution). Calibration results based on mid-infrared spectra, while not as good as those for nearinfrared spectra, were nevertheless quite good. These results demonstrate that it is possible to develop satisfactory calibrations for protein in ground wheat with the use of mid-infrared spectra without the need for sample dilution with KBr.
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