For fifteen years, the NIR (Near Infra-Red) has shaken up methods of analysis in animal nutrition. Who imagined a day when we could know the nutritional value of raw materials as soon as we received them? In addition to the assurance and precision it provides, the NIR is a source of profit and time-saving for its users. What is the added value of this device, and how to choose it?
Why does the NIR allow better knowledge of nutrients?
In animal feed, the “Near Infra-Red”, or “Near Infrared Spectroscopy” is a method that can quickly predict the main chemical parameters of a sample of raw materials or feed. While traditional analysis equipment allowed only a partial reading of the sample spectrum, progress has resulted in instruments capable of instantly reading the near infra-red region (750-2500 nm). These new instruments are linked to software containing powerful mathematical treatments. They can decipher the spectral information in order to predict or estimate the various nutrients: protein, moisture, fats, etc.
Six good reasons to acquire NIR
The advantages of implementing NIR in animal feed plants can be summarised in 6 points:
- Speed of analysis: NIR provides the values of several nutrients in record time (45 seconds)
- The economic issue is crucial. The volatility of the cost of raw materials requires a permanent adjustment of their nutritional value in the formulation. The new allowance grid of wheat proteins is one more argument on the financial scale.
- A decision-making tool: this device also gives the opportunity to accept or refuse a batch of raw materials as they are received at the factory.
- A sorting tool: the function of sorting raw materials is a major asset, for example, giving the possibility to separate soya meals according to protein levels.
- A warning forecast: better management of the matrix is possible. The prediction of the nutritional values of raw materials allows adjustment of the formulation matrices, avoiding waste and decreases in zootechnical performance.
- Active monitoring: monitoring real-time production is another privilege. Prompt acquisition of batch production certificates is a security. It allows us to anticipate the next production, and to quickly isolate non-conforming batches.
How to become equipped with NIR?
There are numerous equipment suppliers on the market. The new generation of instruments are very efficient, more accessible, and more resistant to the environmental constraints of feed mills. We choose robust devices requiring no or little maintenance, as certain devices may be sensitive to dust, vibrations, and air currents.
To optimise the performances, it is crucial to have high-quality calibrations. It guarantees accurate predictions of the nutrients taking account of the chemical analysis precision, quickness of the result and acceptance of the batches. Our company benefits from a strong 20 years of experience in the NIR calibrations. We propose more than 40 calibrations personalized to characterize all the nutrients needed on all the feed fabrication lines.
Making the choice to become equipped with NIR is not always easy. This is why we assist our customers in finding the best solutions for their needs. Experts from the Techna Group address these issues with the eye of conscious professionals to make you achieve a profitable investment. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us!
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Feedia embodies Techna's range of advice and solutions in breeding techniques and precision nutrition, serving the performance of production organisations, feed manufacturers and their breeder customers.