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News last update:14 Jan 2016

Three ways to maximise NIR use in petfood

Premier Pet Nutrition (PPN) has launched 3 innovative pet food calibrations to enable pet food manufacturers to maximise their NIR machine's capabilities.

PPN has developed with its sister company Aunir, 3 innovative petfood-specific calibration factors for its nutrition partners to enable them to maximise the performance of their existing NIR machine (Bruker, Buchi, Foss, Unity, Thermofisher etc)

1. Cook Value.
The Cook Value calibration measures how well a dry pet food has been cooked, stating the level of starch gelatinisation (%). The cook level of a pet food affects its palatability and digestibility and the new calibration informs the pet food manufacturer instantly how well a pet food has been cooked. It also provides instant feedback to the extruder operator if they are putting too much or too little energy into the pet food - offering significant energy cost savings at the extruder. Previously, measuring cook value has meant lengthy and costly wet chemistry analysis, with results often arriving days after the pet food has been packed. With this new calibration, it is now available at the push of a button.

2. Peroxide Value (PV)
PV is a measure of the level of oxidation in fats in a pet food which has a massive influence on the palatability and shelf-life of a dry pet food. By measuring the PV using NIR it is now possible to assess quickly how oxidised the fats are and if the palatability or shelf-life are going to become issues for that batch of pet food. Using NIR to measure PV now saves both time and money compared with conventional PV analysis methods.

3. Water Activity (aw).
Water activity is one of the most critical factors determining the quality and safety of a dry pet food. If it is too high, the dry pet food will mould and spoil due to microbial growth. The new aw calibration gives instant feedback on how likely a pet food is to spoil once packed. 

Ben Helm, PPN's Commercial Manager commented on the availability of the 3 new calibration factors: "The vast majority of pet food manufacturers have invested heavily in an NIR machine and want to optimise that investment. Pet food legislation and customers are setting progressively tighter quality controls and the NIR machine is quickly becoming the best route for measuring pet food quickly and accurately.

These 3 new calibrations enable pet food manufacturers to use their NIR machine to test for parameters previously unachievable by an NIR machine. The calibrations can easily be uploaded to an existing NIR machine, enabling pet food manufacturers to get the most from their current machine - testing new parameters quicker and more cost effectively than before. This saves them time, money and reduces risk while producing a better quality pet food."

In addition to the new calibrations, PPN also offers a full suite of robust and world-class calibrations for incoming raw materials and dry pet food, backed up by a decision-making and data logging system that can bolt on to an existing NIR machine. These are already widely used by pet food manufacturers.


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