XGrain

This analyser is part of the UK Grain Testing Network (UKGTN) for Harvest 2020.

Professional Near Infrared Transmission grain and flour analyser for analysing whole grain cereals and oil seeds as well as flour content parameters with a built-in hectolitre weight module. An additional feature is the built-in printer, so the hectolitre weight values can be automatically printed to the receipt together with the other measured content parameters.

  • Infracont XGrain grain analyser is easy to handle on the 8 “display. The intuitive software of the instrument is very easy to use
  • With the InfraCloud application Infracont XGrain is accessible and manageable from a computer, phone or tablet
  • Built-in hectolitre weight module allows you to test specific weight and other quality parameters in one step
  • Our calibrations ensure accurate and reliable measurements of whole grain cereals, oil seeds and flour
Application Areas

Infracont XGrain and SGrain instruments can be used to analyse the composition of grain and flour without sample preparation. The devices primarily serve to measure protein, moisture, gluten, ash, and oil content, but the Zeleny index can also be measured.

Main application areas of the instruments are:

  • Grain production
  • Grain receival and storage
  • Grain trade
  • Milling
  • Bakery
  • Pasta manufacturing
  • Soybean pressing and extraction
  • Row material analysis for animal feed
Principle of operation

Infracont XGrain and SGrain instruments are spectrophotometers operating in the Near Infrared (NIR) wavelength range. Infracont grain analysers are transmission mode (NIT - Near Infrared Transmission) instruments that apply light of 780-1064nm wavelength range for the measurement. Some biological materials, like grains and flours transmit light of the above wavelength range in a measurable extent. The instruments scan the material to be analysed and measures the intensity (spectrum) of the transmitted light at several wavelengths. The measurement of the spectrum is done at some selected wavelengths: the light of these wavelengths are produced by a so called scanning grating monochromator.

Based on the light intensities measured by a photodiode, the built-in computer calculates and displays the characteristics of the analysed material. Before the analysis we have to determinate the mathematical correlation between the spectrum of the transmitted light and the component to be measured in advance – this mathematical equation is called calibration. For each product and component different calibrations are needed. Developing a new calibration requires the measurement of the spectra of a large number of samples analysed with ‘traditional’ methods in laboratory. We calculate the calibrations based on these spectra. The instruments can only measure a component of a product after installing the relevant calibration.

Instruments equipped with a scanning grating monochromator represent the premium category of NIR grain analysers as their higher optical resolution enable higher accuracy of measurements.

Technology

The ’heart’ of Infracont grain analysers is a unique, patented optical arrangement called ‘SBCS’ – Single Beam Compensation System.

’Traditional’ solutions

Complex mechanical elements

Due to the samples’ granularity and inhomogeneity related to the size of the light beam one measurement does not give a satisfactory result: to get an acceptable accuracy and repeatability we have to average the results of hundreds of elementary measurements. ‘Traditional’ instruments divide the sample into sub-samples and measure these sub-samples or move the sample and measure it on more spots to reach a representative sampling. These methods require usually complex and expensive mechanical solutions.

Compensation

In case of quantitative analyses, where not only the type of components but also their percentages have to be determined, very stable and accurate analyses are required. Stability can be achieved only if we compensate the changes of the measurement system (e.g. warming up, changes of parts, etc.) with simultaneous measurement of a very stable optical element (optical standard). ‘Traditional’ instruments do this usually by implementing 2 measurement ‘channels’ or doing 2 consecutive measurements:
- the 1st solution is expensive any only acceptable if the 2 channels are absolutely equal,
- the 2nd solution can’t be a perfect solution theoretically because of the time elapsed between the 2 measurements.

Why is SBCS different?

Single Beam Compensation System

Our patented optical arrangement SBCS is different from all of the above because it applies only one optical channel and the elements of this channel are rotating. This means that by SBCS representative sampling can be achieved by moving the light and not by moving the sample: a high speed rotating light beam scans the sample on a large surface.
The light beam measures the sample at 16 different sequential spots and in each cycle it measures the transmission optical standard too. The speed of the rotation ensures the simultaneity of the representative measurement of the sample and that of the transmission standard.
This simultaneity and the optical arrangement applying only one optical channel result in perfect compensation.

Advantages of SBCS
  • simple machinery with very few moving parts;
  • small size, light weight;
  • uncomplicated and cheaper production, service and maintenance;
  • low power lamp, less heat generation, but still high light intensity;
  • unaffected by temperature, no warm up time: the instrument can be used right after turning on;
  • the lamp is only lighting during the measurement which provides much longer lifetime and no regular change is needed.
Calibrations

Infracont develops calibrations for Infracont grain analysers with Partial Least Squares (PLS) or MLR (Multiple Linear Regression) method, based on sample series analysed in laboratory. The calibrations are transferable from one instrument to another. The instruments are delivered with the calibrations installed according to the requirements of the customers.

The list of the available calibrations can be downloaded here.

User Interface

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