Abstract

Non-destructive food testing is becoming increasingly important due to expanding automation and the incorporation of new and more efficient processes in the food industry. The quality and safety of food are the main points of interest. It is important to have a technology which will allow for a high throughput and a short response time to increase process efficiency and reduce waste. In order for this equipment to be integrated with the existing infrastructure, it should be robust and capable of functioning in varying environments. Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy provides several advantages compared with traditional analytical methods; it is fast and non-destructive, it requires little or no sample preparation, it can provide simultaneous determination of multiple components per measurement, it has a remote sampling capability and it can provide real-time information in a process stream. Thus, NIR spectroscopy provides the ideal technology needed for fast and efficient food analysis. This review reports recently published (in the last 10 years) applications of NIR spectroscopy in both raw and prepared foods. It highlights the ability of NIR spectroscopy to assess food and beverage composition, functional properties, quality attributes, regional and varietal differences and contribute to food safety and consumer confidence.

© 2008 IM Publications LLP

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