Near infrared spectroscopy: rethinking the analysis of sugarcane factory streams

  • S. Walford
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Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC, c/o University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4041, South Africa
[email protected]
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Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for the simultaneous analysis of brix, pol, sucrose, glucose, fructose and ash in sugar factory processing streams has many advantages. The most important are the almost immediate reporting of results which can be used for process control, and the ability to analyse many samples over a short period for troubleshooting purposes. The Sugar Milling Research Institute NPC has developed and refined near infrared transmission spectroscopy models for the prediction of these analytes in sugarcane processing streams. The uptake of the technology in the sugar factory laboratories has proved challenging, requiring improved analyte prediction ranges, understanding the transfer of instrument results into factory information management systems and the introduction of a simplified sample dilution procedure. The NIRS technology has allowed for the development of toolkits for routine factory scale sucrose inversion studies and measurement of losses across centrifuges, previously difficult to implement.


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