The USP (US Pharmacopeial Convention) Food Fraud Database currently lists hundreds of incidents of economically motivated adulteration (EMA), substitution, counterfeiting or mislabeling of food products, such as olive oil and milk powder and some prominent adulterants e.g. melamine.
FT-NIR offers a valuable tool for screening raw materials with an excellent cost-benefit ratio and unrivaled ease-of-use. The high information content of NIR spectra provides a finger print of the complete sample. Comparing the spectra of the incoming raw materials with those measured using samples of known quality permits a non-targeted screening of adulterants or contaminants within the detection limits. If a material is tested positive on adulteration, further investigations with complementary analytical methods can be carried out to determine the exact identity of the adulterant.
Bruker FT-NIR spectrometers offer a fast and effective tool for quality control of raw materials, intermediate products and final products. As a non-destructive method without any sample preparation it is already extensively used in the food industry for analyzing main constituents such as protein, moisture, fat, lactose, ash, and fiber.