How to turn a laboratory sample into a representative part sample with homogeneous analytical fineness -
Food occurs in a great variety of consistencies and is often inhomogeneous. Food testing labs require representative samples to produce meaningful and reproducible analysis results. Therefore, food samples must be homogenized and pulverized to the required analytical fineness, ideally with as little time and effort as possible. Furthermore, reliable analytical results can only be obtained if the entire sample preparation process is carried out reproducibly.
Reliable and accurate analysis results can only be guaranteed by reproducible sample preparation. This consists of transforming a laboratory sample into a representative part sample with homogeneous analytical fineness. Retsch offers a comprehensive range of the most modern mills and crushers for coarse, fine and ultra-fine size reduction of almost any material. The product range also comprises a wide choice of grinding tools and accessories which helps to ensure contamination-free preparation of a great variety of sample materials. The selection of the correct grinding tool depends on the sample material and the subsequent method of analysis. Different grinding tools have different characteristics, such as required energy input, hardness or wear-resistance.
The feed quality has a decisive influence on the productivity of livestock farming. However, high-quality forage considerably adds to the costs of stock breeding. Consequently, economic considerations focus on the quality and quantity of the components used in the production process. This includes reliable analyses of feedstuff and ingredients from receipt of goods to final inspection as the best way to ensure a balanced feeding of the animals while keeping cost and profit orientation in focus. Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) is the most important analytical method for the determination of protein content, moisture, fat and ash in feeds and forage. The advantage over classical methods such as Kjeldahl is the simultaneous determination of several parameters. Moreover, NIR spectroscopy is a quick method, which requires neither consumables nor reagents.
A variety of methods can be used to analyze solid materials. What they all have in common is the necessity to use a representative, homogeneous analysis sample which needs to have a particular fineness, depending on the analytical method used. The size reduction and homogenization of solids is usually carried out with laboratory crushers and grinders.
A faultless and comparable analysis is closely linked to an accurate sample handling. Only a sample representative of the initial material can provide meaningful analysis results. Rotating dividers and rotary tube dividers are an important means to ensure the representativeness of a sample and thus the reproducibility of the analysis. Correct sample handling consequently minimizes the probability of a production stop due to incorrect analysis results. Thus correct sample handling is the key to effective quality control.
Als Standard Analysenmethode für den Gehalt an Protein, Fett, Kohlenhydrat und Feuchte kommt in der Futtermittelindustrie vor allem die Nah-Infrarot (NIR) Spektroskopie zum Einsatz. Der labortechnische Aufwand für die Probenvorbereitung und Messung mit dem NIR-Verfahren ist vergleichsweise gering. Entsprechend weit verbreitet ist das Prüfverfahren. Die empfindliche spektroskopische Technik setzt voraus, dass die zu analysierende Probe repräsentativ ist, eine ausreichende Analysenfeinheit besitzt und eine möglichst hohe Homogenität aufweist. Hierdurch werden Messartefakte verhindert bzw. auf ein Minimum reduziert.