Near-Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy

Most pet food manufacturers and premix suppliers use wet chemistry to analyze product consistency and uniformity, but Trouw Nutrition employs near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy analysis for a quicker, non-destructive method without producing hazardous waste or requiring chemicals or consumables.

Conducted with a rapid content analyzer, NIR spectroscopy analysis measures the absorption of light, or lack thereof, of organic bonds, making it an excellent quality assurance method for analyzing organic compound-containing vitamins, proteins, liquids, fat, starch, cellulose, carbohydrates, and glucose.

Using discriminant analysis, the NIR spectra results of one sample can be compared to that of the comprehensive collection of historical data stored in our proprietary database. Through this comparison, lab technicians can discern if and where the sample deviates from the accepted “norm” established by the historical data. 


To account for all common variations, such as sample consistency, seasonal changes, and multiple suppliers, the historical data set needs to include a library of spectra collected over a few years to produce a successful calibration.

At Trouw Nutrition, we actually notified a supplier that the changed minds on an ingredient when to the human eye, they looked the exact same. NIR spectra results explained a change took place.
Tom Best - Director of Quality & Food Safety

Variations in the data could signify potency abnormality, particle size inconsistency, color variation, contamination, or raw material sourcing differences. With a robust database built on 13+ years of data collected across multiple locations, Trouw Nutrition’s thorough calibration accounts for wavelength region, scatter correction, math treatment, and regression for optimal results.

The NIR spectra shows how a single sample, represented by the yellow line, compares to the collection of historical sample data, represented by the gray line.

NIR testing helps our technicians know and identify in a matter of minutes when an outlier exists. The data reveals inconsistencies not visible to the human eye.  

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To learn more about what makes NIR different at Trouw Nutrition.