Monitoring Pet Food Taste Enhancers from Nature Using FT-NIR

Monitoring Pet Food Taste Enhancers from Nature Using FT-NIR

The global leader in the sensorial or organoleptic (taste, colour and palatability) performance of food, Diana Group has expanded their Pet Food Division, SPF Palatability (SPF). Last year in July, they opened a new manufacturing facility in Paarl, Cape to compliment the 19 existing sites situated around the world. Here only natural ingredients are combined with bioscience and vast knowledge and expertise to improve the palatability performance of their customers’ products. This division is equipped with a profound knowledge of animal food preferences and ingredients that are all “from nature”. Deborah Shaw from local scientific company Labotec, spoke to Liezel Goosen QSE Manager at the new site about their decision to use the Buchi NIR, a modular FT-NIR spectrophotometer to monitor production and quality.

SPF South Africa manufacture liquid palatability enhancers for the pet food industry (pet food flavours). Due to the strict quality controls applied, real-time measurement throughout the production process of each product is vital. The Buchi NIR is used by the production and quality team to measure these critical limits on a daily basis.

What were the reasons for purchasing a new Buchi NIR system?
SPF South Africa is a new manufacturing facility, opening our doors officially in July 2012. We therefore needed a NIR unit on site. SPF across the globe exclusively use the Buchi NIR system, both for consistency across plants in results obtained, and in order to enhance the global NIR database library to consistently improve accuracy in results.

For which applications will the Buchi be used?
The Buchi is used to determine guaranteed specifications of Moisture, Protein, Fat and Ash in the products we produce, both during the production phase, as well as in the final product.

How will this fit into the existing production process, and how will it make a difference to the set up?
During the production process, measurements have to be taken at predetermined critical points in order to monitor that the product being manufactured is within specification for eventual positive release. The Buchi ensures these measurements can be done quickly and accurately to ensure the optimisation of the production process as a whole, and guarantee a consistently good quality product.

Were there any features you liked that made you decide on this model?
SPF subsidiaries across the world use the same Buchi model (NIRFlex N-500), so a comprehensive library of data applicable to our products was already set up and available to us to import and use. This meant that the setup of our machine was very easy and fast, and that the reliability of results obtained on this line of product has already been established internationally.

Are there any future projects relating to the new equipment?
As SPF broadens our product base to develop new formulations and new innovative animal feed flavour technologies, the Buchi is and will be instrumental in testing the viability and consistency of these products, both for SPF South Africa and abroad. New applications are qualified regularly due to the scope of having many SPF facilities using the same machine and building up parallel databases of information needed for this type of qualification.