Complete Proximate Analysis for Food Manufacturers

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Food manufacturing is an increasingly high-tech industry, with an ultimate focus on efficiency, throughput, scale, and automation. Food testing methods have lagged behind other technological improvements and, as a result, have become the bottleneck in the manufacturing process. This application note provides a background on historical test methods, and their modern alternatives which, in most cases, are not only faster and less labor intensive, but also provide more reliable results.


There are many ways to measure components such as protein, moisture, fat, and ash in food samples. Traditionally, each component has been measured by a reference method that requires hours to perform. In recent decades, rapid alternatives such as near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR), bench top, timedomain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR), and even x-ray spectroscopy have gained widespread acceptance. This application note discusses the proximate analysis techniques that have traditionally been used, plus their rapid alternatives, with focus on special considerations for food manufacturers.