Precise and up-to-date data on raw materials and finished feed may be your most valuable ingredient. PRADEEP KRISHNAN and GIRISH CHANNARAYAPATNA* present a portable analytics solution that makes nutrient analytics easy.
Challenge – varying nutrient levels
Without knowledge on nutrient levels/variability in raw materials, producing cost-effective and consistent high-quality livestock feed is a challenge. Higher safety margins may help ensure diet formulations fulfill the animal’s nutrient requirements but are sure to undermine the profitability of businesses. The key to mastering this balancing act is strict quality control of incoming raw materials and finished feed.
Evonik launched near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) as a service for the feed industry in 1995 to determine amino acids in commonly used feed raw materials. Now, more than 800 NIR lab units are using AMINONIR services globally. While NIR technology is well accepted by the feed industry, feed producers are constantly evaluating more efficient processes and technologies to shorten the response time aimed at improved feed ingredient management and finished feeds. End users of NIR technology frequently express their demand for quick and easy-to-use NIR systems, independent of a lab infrastructure (on-truck, on-farm, consulting) at lower equipment cost.
Figure 1: The journey of AMINONIR technology at Evonik.
Until recently there was no mobile NIR solution on the market for the prediction of amino acids and full portfolio of proximate/energy. Evonik’s commitment to the feed industry turns this wishful thinking into a reality (Figure 1).
Mobile NIR service
A portable handheld NIR device linked to a smart phone or tablet can take the standard laboratory test into the field. Rather than undertaking the laborious and time-consuming task of taking and moving the samples to the laboratory, Evonik’s AMINONIR Portable (Figure 2), a wireless device that is compact and robust, now takes the lab to the place where it is needed.
Figure 2: AMINONIR Portable uses VIAVI Solutions Inc. MicroNIR Onsite-W wireless handheld Spectrometer within the wavelength range of 950-1650 nm. Spectrometer is controlled via an Android app.
AMINONIR Portable takes the guesswork out of the nutrient profile of feed ingredients (Table 1) and finished feeds (Table 2). It uses a portable NIR device controlled via a smartphone application and connected to Evonik’s online analytics platform. End users can scan samples, upload the spectra to their web-based service interface AMINONIR Advanced, and receive a complete evaluation report within minutes. AMINONIR Portable calibrations are developed based on analyses performed at Evonik’s state-of-the-art, wet-chemistry facilities.
Table 1: Calibrations covering proximate principles and amino acid profile of commonly used feed ingredients.
Table 2: Calibrations covering proximate principles and energy value of finished feeds.
With AMINONIR Portable, users can quickly and confidently make critical business decisions on feed formulations and purchasing practices. This would help ensure consistent feed quality and animal performance, combined with high sample throughput at low cost, which adds up to a significant competitive advantage – and a better bottom line for business operations.
*Dr Pradeep Krishnan (email@example.com) is Technical Service Director and Dr Girish Channarayapatna (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Senior Technical Service Director are both with Nutrition & Care, Animal Nutrition, Evonik (SEA) Pte Ltd, Singapore.
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