NIRS analysis of spinach plants directly in the field. Credit: Universidad de Córdoba Consumers always look for good quality products, above all in fresh food like vegetables. But how do we measure the quality of fresh spinach before it gets on the market nowadays? The most commonly used methods to analyze vegetable quality are slow, costly and destructive. They require choosing several samples from the same batch, to be analyzed later at a laboratory. In order to carry out different kinds of analyses, the product must be destroyed, so an entire harvest cannot be used.
A University of Cordoba team sought to find a solution to this issue by proposing the use of a non-invasive kind of technology: near infrared spectroscopy, abbreviated to NIRS. Though its use is widespread in many fields, such as in the food sector, it is also used in the fields of chemistry, pharmaceutics and even biomedicine.
“This technique is based on light interacting with a product in order to gather information about its physical-chemical make-up, its structure and even parameters related to its sensorial characteristics,” explains researcher Dolores Pérez Marín who, along with María Teresa Sánchez, leads a line of research studying the use of NIRS […]
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