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Different Applications of FOSS NIR Spectroscopy Systems

by georgemelcher

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Near-Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy is a spectroscopic method that utilizes a sample’s NIR absorption characteristics to measure and predict parameters of interest. While the radiation was first discovered in the 19th century, the first stand-alone application of associated technology was developed in the 1980s. Today, NIR’s applications have diversified, with numerous NIR system providers, such as FOSS NIR Incorporated, making such technology available to different industries.

NIR can be used to analyze the chemical composition of samples such as clear to murky liquids, solids, flakes, powders, and slurries. Because of this, NIR systems have enabled companies engaged in various enterprises to enforce better quality control and improve many of the processes involved in manufacturing. Application of NIR technology have spread throughout different disciplines both in and outside the field of medicine.


Medical science is always in need of improvements in diagnosis. Medical applications of NIR focus on non-invasive measurements such as the oxygen content of hemoglobin. It is also used to safely assess brain function by detecting changes in blood hemoglobin concentrations in the brain. NIR systems, such as dispersive NIR and Fourier Transform (FT) NIR, can also be used in diagnosing blood sugar, bladder contractions, neurovascular coupling, and pulse oximetry among many others.


The NIR technology is widely used in agriculture to determine the quality of soil, forage, grain products, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, and other foodstuffs and agricultural products. For instance, NIR is used by apple producers to detect bruising, caused by minor bumps and drops, in their apples before they can be detected by the human eye, enabling them to separate low-grade apples from top-grade produce.


Near-Infrared Spectroscopy has a variety of applications in the field of Astronomy. Since NIR readings are less affected by interstellar dust and debris, the technology is primarily being used to study a star’s molecule’s vibrational and rotational signatures as well as molecules in other astronomical contexts such as molecular clouds. This helps astronomers acquire important information about different stars’ age and mass – important factors to help better understand star formation.

Other Industrial Applications

Other applications include the Tobacco industry. NIR systems are used for nicotine analysis and menthol analysis of cigarettes. Wood products are also subjected to NIR analysis to measure their particle board products’ moisture and adhesive content. The amount of moisture found in soaps is also measured through NIR. For more information about near-infrared spectroscopy, visit

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