Initial research in the 1960s on the application of NIRS to agricultural products was concentrated on the determination of moisture and NIR models were developed to determine moisture in a variety of ground seeds and grains (16, 17). During this time, studies were also reported on the direct determination of moisture and fat in several types of meats using their spectroscopic properties (18). In the early 1970s the technology advanced rapidly with development of several instruments for the analysis of moisture and protein in wheat (19). The Canadian Grain Commission adopted NIRS as an official method of analyzing wheat in 1975 and the United States Federal Grain Inspection Service recognized NIR analysis as an official method in 1980. The use of NIRS in the analysis of protein in wheat is, to date, one of the most important advances of NIR technology in agriculture. NIRS circumvents other time consuming methods of protein analysis and allows on-site, non-destructive determination of protein content. Currently, transmission instruments are available (such as the Infratec Whole Grain Ana- t?
lyzer) which allow analysis of moisture, protein, and oil in whole grains (e.g. wheat, soybeans, corn) at the elevator site. Similarly, the Infratec Meat Analyzer can be used in slaughterhouses or meat packing plants for fat monitoring and process control. In recent years the majority of food applications for NIRS have been for the determination of moisture, protein, and fat in a wide variety of products (e.g. wheat, pulses, various baked products, dough, cocoa, milk, cheese, eggs, oilseed, meat, fish, and hops) (see reviews 20, 21). Substantially fewer applications have been reported for other constituents, examples of which are: dietary fiber in cereal products (22,23); neutral detergent fiber in breakfast cereals
Kays et al.
and snack foods (24, 25); beta-glucan in barley (26); starch in grains (27), pulses (28), and snack foods (25); starch damage in flour (29); amylose in rice (30); sucrose in chocolate (31) and wine (32); soluble solids in vegetables (33); and alcohol in beer (34) and wine (32).
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