A method of rapid, nondestructive chemical and physical analysis of individual maize (<i>Zea mays</i> L.) kernels is needed for the development of high value food, feed, and fuel traits. Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy offers a robust nondestructive method of trait determination. However, traditional NIR bulk sampling techniques cannot be applied successfully to individual kernels. Obtaining optimized single kernel NIR spectra for applied chemometric predictive analysis requires a novel sampling technique that can account for the heterogeneous forms, morphologies, and opacities exhibited in individual maize kernels. In this study such a novel technique is described and compared to less effective means of single kernel NIR analysis. Results of the application of a partial least squares (PLS) derived model for predictive determination of percent oil content per individual kernel are shown.

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