FTIR analysis of food and agri products

Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR)

The FTIR measurement principle is based on an interferometer using a so-called Fourier transformation to generate the spectrum from the data. The method is easy, fast and accurate, combining high sensitivity with a full spectrum, enabling instrument standardisation and the use of calibrations for multiple instruments.

FTIR spectroscopy is particularly useful for homogenous, liquid samples, making it the preferred infrared absorption spectroscopy method for samples such as milk and wine. In dairy applications FTIR solutions measure parameters such as fat, protein and lactose content in milk for payment analysis, QA/QC applications and in-line process control. For grape, must and wine FTIR analysis solutions measure the content of must and wine for multiple parameters such as sugars, acids and ethanol.


FTIR spectroscopy is in principle very similar to Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, but works across longer wavelengths. Additionally, many special optical components and materials are used. The benefit of the longer wavelengths is that more specific chemical information is typically obtained from the samples. A comparison of NIR and FTIR is provided in this video in relation to applications in the dairy industry. Called ‘Directions in dairy analysis’, the video includes interviews with experts from FOSS who explain the technology and the considerations to be made when selecting an infrared analytical instrument.

Over 20 wine parameters measured within minutes – the power of FTIR

The speed of FTIR analysis of must and wine is a powerful tool for winemakers, providing opportunities to improve quality and reducing risks in production, for example, for optimising the harvest, avoid stuck fermentation and downgrading of tanks and avoiding increases in volatile acidity in barrels.

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Screening for Ketosis – an example of the wealth of data in the FTIR spectrum

The area of raw milk testing is benefitting from the power of FTIR technology, providing new information on fatty acids profiling and screening for ketosis.These findings are promising for uncovering new herd management information for optimising herd as well as individual cow performance, and for improving practical farm procedures and breeding programs.

Screening milk for abnormalities with FTIR

Raw milk containing abnormalities is a growing problem. The abnormalities can be caused by deliberate adulteration, for example, with lard or melamine or by accidents if water or cleaning agents are mixed with the milk. FTIR technology can be used to screen incoming raw milk samples to identify a suspect raw milk sample quickly and as a normal part of everyday testing as explained in this case story about how FTIR can give an extra line of defence against costly chemical taints in dairy products.

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The elements of a good FTIR instrument

The FOSS MilkoScan FT1 offers a good example of a purpose-built FTIR instrument including sample handling, instrument standardization and ready-to-use calibrations.

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We recommend these downloads for more info on FTIR technology

icon_pdf-83c5e92d05da478cd8a2c8feb5939243bf514c37 WINE BROCHURE

icon_pdf-83c5e92d05da478cd8a2c8feb5939243bf514c37 MIKOSCAN FT1 BROCHURE

icon_pdf-83c5e92d05da478cd8a2c8feb5939243bf514c37 FTIR BROCHURE

icon_pdf-83c5e92d05da478cd8a2c8feb5939243bf514c37 STANDARDIZATION OF FT-IR INSTRUMENT

What can FTIR technology do for your business operations?

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