Want to know more about the analysis we can offer for your agricultural and food science research? Whether you’re a student, a researcher, or a professor, we’re here to help with information on the most relevant application examples.

Agriculture and food sciences encompasses many scientific disciplines – from studies of molecules and proteins through to satellite imagery and assessing large forest areas. Our application notes and published papers show how our instruments are used in many different applications, both lab-based and in the field. So, take a look and see how they could help you with your agricultural studies or research! You can find the method abbreviations explained at the bottom of this page.

Seen everything? You might also find some useful articles in Biological and Medical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Agronomy

Agronomy is a wide-ranging subject including:

  • Environmental science
  • Crop and soil science
  • Cereals, grains, and viticulture
  • Soil chemistry, fertility, and mineralogy
  • Natural resources, water content and quality
  • Botany and pest and weed control
  • Forestry and forest sciences


Here’s a selection of our application notes and articles relevant to agronomy and agricultural research. Explore them to discover more about our agricultural research services!

Agronomy

Method

Sample/Subject

Application Note Title (Link)

Compost- waste

XRF

Pressed powder compost samples

Trace element analysis of organic-rich samples using Zetium and Pro-Trace

Crops-viticulture

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

Viticulture management, vineyards, grapes, wine

NIR and viticulture spectroscopic techniques

Crops- pesticides

LD

Tap water tested with different nozzle types

Characterizing spray nozzles for targeted agrochemical application using the Malvern Spraytec

Crops- nutraceuticals

UV/Vis/NIR/SWIR

Rosmarinic acid, Oleanolic acid, Ursolic acid and Total triterpenes (Mint, Oregano)

Evaluation of Medicinal Herb Samples Using ASD LabSpec

Crops – Olive Trees

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

The relationship of NIR spectral indices to Leaf Water Potential and to Pressure-volume curves

Assessing plant water relations based on hidden information in the hyper‐spectral signatures: Parameterization of olive leaf P-V curve and estimation of water potential components

Crops - Maize

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

The use of ASD NIR as a tool to aid in small-holder agricultural productivity in Kenya.

Unravelling the effects of soil and crop management on maize productivity

Forests – Pine nutrients

 UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR 

Comparison of spectral indices and PLSR models to plant nutrient concentrations.

Predicting macronutrient concentrations from loblolly pine leaf reflectance across local and regional scales

Forests – Pulp production

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

Standing tree wood, lumber, OSB flake properties

Applications of Reflectance Spectroscopy in Paper and Pulp manufacture

Forests - tropical

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

NIR Spectroscopy to characterize species biodiversity

Spectroscopy of Humid Tropical Forests

General - chemometrics

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR 

Collection of student projects in chemometric methods.

Integrating Traditional Handheld Remotely Sensed Measurement Techniques with Chemometric Analyses in the Classroom

Plants - review

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

Combination of field spectrometer (ASD) and overflight sensor to identify invasive plant species.  A classic application of ground-truthing.

Spectral Identification of Native and Non-Native Plant Species

Plants – plant virus

DLS

Polydispersity of Rice Dwarf virus.

Characterization of Rice Dwarf Virus, in water, RDV+ (crystallized), RDV- (not crystallized)

Plants - bioprocessing

Imaging

Fiber width and elongation

Fiber parameter measurements using the Morphologi G3 particle characterization system

Plant Biology - pollen

Imaging

Parietaria Judaica (PJ), Avena Fatua (AF), Taraxacum Officinale and Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum (TF&CL)

Characterization of pollen samples with the Morphologi® G3SE

Soil - Madagascar

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

Soil quality in Madagascar (Oxisols), paddy, tavy, topsoil - pH, total carbon (SOC), N, P, Ca, Mg, K, cation exchange (CEC)

Sensing landscape level change in soil fertility

Soil – Chemistry

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

Soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (N) concentration. Soil carbon (C) mineralization

Prediction of carbon mineralization rates from different soil physical fractions

Soil – Carbon and Nitrogen

XRF

C and N in soil samples

Analysis of carbon and nitrogen in soils

Soil - mineralogy

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

Kaolinite, montmorillonite, and mica abundances. Swelling clays, organics, and other measurements e.g. cation exchange capacity (CEC)

Measurement of Soil Mineralogy and CEC Using Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy

Soil - Contaminants

XRF

Heavy metal elemental concentrations

Analysis of heavy-metal contaminants in soils and sludges

Soil - Fertility

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

Soil fertility depletion in smallholder agricultural systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Soil condition classification using infrared spectroscopy

Soil – water, minerals

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

 

Old paper* but provides good background. *Modern data shows better quality.

Spectral Reflectance of Wetted Soils

Soil - texture

LD

Acrisol, Phaeozem, Luvisol, Cambisol

Getting a feel for soil texture using laser diffraction particle size analysis

Dairy Research

Dairy research includes food chemistry and processing research – which themselves significantly overlap with many other disciplines, such as biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, and food science and nutrition. Specifically, dairy research focuses on the studies of human health and milk consumption, together with dairy cow nutrition and the environmental impact of milk production. We’ve put together a selection of application notes and articles related to dairy research – check them out below!

Dairy Research

Method

Sample/Subject

Application Note Title (Link)

milk - emulsion stability

DLS

Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk

Zeta Potential Measurements of Skimmed and Semi-Skimmed Milk Using the ZEN1010 High Concentration Cell

milk - emulsions

LD

Full-fat, semi-skimmed, skimmed milk powder

Measurement of Dairy and Food Emulsions using Laser Diffraction

milk - fats and micelles

LD

Fat globules and casin micelles in milk

Using laser diffraction to characterize casein micelles and fat globules in milk

milk powder - elemental composition

XRF

Milk powder, Ca, Cl, K, P, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn

At-line analysis of nutrient content in milk powder

milk powder - infant formula

XRF

Infant formula milk, Ca, Cl, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Na, P, S, Zn

A new approach on the sample preparation of powdered dairy products

milk powder - whey, cheese

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

Milk powder, whey, cheese

NIR and Dairy Spectroscopy

Protein - ß-Lactoglobulin (ß-

Lg) aggregation

DLS

ß-Lactoglobulin (ß-Lg) aggregation at different pH values (NaCl and HCl)

Aggregation of ß-Lactoglobulin

Protein - steric layers

DLS

β-lactoglobulin-dextran on polystyrene latex spheres, buffers, and salts

Determining Steric Layer Thickness and Conformation Using Dynamic Light Scattering

Protein - steric layers and stability

DLS

Canola oil, Aqueous protein/conjugate emulsifier solution, β-lactoglobulin

Studying the Effect of Steric Layer Thickness on Emulsion Stability

Protein - whey protein isolate

SEC

Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), four components, immunoglobulin, albumin, β-lactoglobulin and α-lactalbumin

Characterization of Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) using multi-detector size-exclusion chromatography

Food chemistry

Food chemistry significantly overlaps with plant sciences and biochemistry. It’s the foundation for food processing – and research experiments can be comparable to those in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, paper, polymer science, nutrition sciences, and healthcare. In the table below, you’ll find some application notes and articles relevant to food science research and development – check them out to learn more!

Food Chemistry

Method

Sample/Subject

Application Note Title (link)

Cellulose

GPC

Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC)

Analysis of cellulose derivatives by advanced GPC/SEC

Cellulose - sodium carboxymethyl

GPC

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose in aqueous eluent

Substitution in sodium carboxymethyl cellulose

Cereal and Grain

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

Ground corn Stover samples

Small Sample Size Evaluation using LabSpec 4 Standard-Res i

Enzymes – Sweet Potato

GPC

β-amylase from sweet potato

Compositional insights for protein mixtures: a case study of a semi-pure β-amylase extract

Lactase - Aspergillus oryzae fungus

DLS

Lactase from Aspergillus oryzae fungus in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)

Using Light scattering to study the stability of Lactase

Gelatin

XRF

Gelatin, Cr, Fe, Cu, Zn

Trace element determination of Cr, Fe, Cu and Zn in gelatin

Meat and Fish

UV/Vis/NIR/SWIR

General overview

NIR and Proteins

Polysaccarides - starches

GPC

Aqueous polysaccharides, Starches

Physical treatment of polysaccharides

Polysaccharides

GPC

3 typical polysaccharides in mobile phase of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)

Multi-detector GPC/SEC analysis of polysaccharides using OMNISEC

Polysaccharides

GPC

Polysaccharides

Using triple detection GPC/SEC to Determine branching in polysaccharides

Polysaccharides - dextran

GPC

Dextran in Na2So4 solution, gum Arabic, pectin

Structural elucidation of dextrans and other polysaccharides using OMNISEC Multi-Detection GPC

Polysaccharides - pullulan, dextran, hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC), pectin and gum Arabic

GPC

Polysaccharides, pullulan, dextran, hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC), pectin, and gum Arabic

Characterizing polysaccharide structure with SEC-MALS and intrinsic viscosity measurements

Seaweed - sodium alginate

GPC

Brown seaweed, sodium alginate

Monitoring degradation of sodium alginate using GPC/SEC

Vitamins - Vitamin B

DLS

Vitamin B (thiamine)

Exploring the Concentration Limits of DLS: Characterization of Vitamin B1

Food processing

Food processing builds on food science, encompassing all considerations for processing raw foodstuffs into forms suitable for human and livestock consumption. Several processing methods have shared considerations with pharmaceutical processing. Food processing also considers formulation, shelf-life, and stability. Processors must screen for toxins and detrimental changes that can occur during storage. Environmental impact, of both the raw materials and the recycling and disposal of waste food products and processing chemicals, must also be considered. Here are some of our application notes and articles relevant to food processing. Take a look to discover more!

Food Processing

Method

Sample/Subject

Application Note Title (Link)

Beer Brewing

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

Beer Brewing, temperature, pH, sugar composition, yeast type

Beer Brewing and Ethanol Production

Chocolate

LD

Dark, milk, white chocolate, crumb, and powder milk chocolates

Understanding the production and perception of chocolate through particle size analysis

Chocolate

LD

Chocolate, suspension of sugar, cocoa, and milk particles in a continuous fat phase

Understanding the properties of chocolate using laser diffraction particle size distribution analysis

Chocolate - identification

Imaging

Chocolate, various brands

Analyzing chocolate with the Morphologi automated image analysis system

Chocolate - WHITEPAPER

LD

Chocolate

Analytical characterization of mouthfeel in chocolate

Coffee grounds

LD

Coffee grounds

Measuring the particle size distribution of coffee grounds using laser diffraction

Coffee grounds

LD

Coffee grounds

Rapid measurement of coffee ground particle size distributions during coffee grinding operations

Dog food - mineral nutrients

XRF and SPE

Mineral nutrients in Dog Food: Al, Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Mg, Na, P, S, Zn

Elemental Determination of Dog Food Samples Using Lithium Borate Fusion and XRF Analysis

Edible oils - contaminants

XRF

Fe, Cu, Ni, As, Cd, Pb in edible oils

Analysis of Fe, Ni, Cu, As, Cd and Pb in edible oils

Flour - Bread and cakes

UV/Vis/NIR/SWIR

Bread and cake flour

Bread and Cake Flour properties Modeled using LabSpec® 4

flour - wheat, gluten-free

Imaging

Wheat flour, Gluten-free flour A- and B- type starch grains, starch-protein composite, protein, gamma-oryzanol, calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, starch

Particle Morphology of Wheat Flour and Gluten-Free Flour

Iodine in foods

XRF

Iodine (I) skimmed milk, citrus leaves, wheat, potato flour, cellulose,

Iodine in foods

Livestock feed

XRF

Livestock feeds - trace elements: Na, Mg, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb

Analysis of mineral and trace element content in livestock feed

Rice flour

LD and Imaging

Rice flour

Grain Based Food Processing - Particle Characterization and its Significance

Starches - modified

GPC

Modified starches

Structural differences in modified starches

Surfactants - fermentation

DLS

Surfactin (a lipopeptide surfactant) micelles in clarified fermentation broth

Determination of surfactin micelle formation and disruption in a membrane-based separation

Wheat - noodles

XRF

Lead contamination in wheat noodles

Screening for lead contamination in wheat noodles (Epsilon 1)

Wheat - noodles

XRF

Lead contamination in wheat noodles

Trace analysis of lead in wheat noodles (Epsilon 4)

Whey powder - contaminants

XRF

Whey powder (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, P) with trace elements (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn)

Analysis of de-mineralized whey powder

Abbreviations explained

Our products and technologies are described on the Products pages. Below you can find a quick reference to the properties measured by our instruments, together with the measurement name and its abbreviation. Click on each method to find out more about it! 

Abbreviation

Method Name

Instrument(s)

Measured Property

DLS

Dynamic light scattering

Zetasizer

Molecular size, hydrodynamic radius RH,  particle size, size distribution, stability, concentration, agglomeration

ELS

Electrophoretic light scattering

Zetasizer

Zeta potential, particle charge, suspension stability, protein mobility

ITC

Iso-thermal calorimetry

MicroCal  ITC

Binding affinity, thermodynamics of molecular reactions in solution

DSC

Differential scanning calorimetry

Microcal DSC

Denaturing (unfolding) of large molecules, stability of macromolecules

IMG

Automated Morphological Imaging

Morphologi 4

Imaging of particles, automated shape and size measurement

MDRS

Morphologically directed Raman spectroscopy

Morphologi 4-ID

Imaging of particles, automated shape and size measurement, chemical identification and contaminant detection

LD

Laser diffraction

Mastersizer

Spraytec

Insitec

Parsum

Particle size, size distribution

NTA

Nanoparticle tracking analysis

NanoSight

Particle size, size distribution, and concentration

SEC or GPC

Size exclusion chromatography /

Gel permeation chromatography

OMNISEC

Molecular size, molecular weight, oligomeric state, polymer or protein size and molecular structure

SPE

Sample preparation by fusion

Le Neo

LeDoser

Eagon 2

The OxAdvanced

M4

rFusion

Fused Bead Sample preparation for XRF, Peroxide solution preparations for ICP, Flux weighing for beadmaking

UV/Vis/NIR/ SWIR

Ultra-violet / visible / near infra-red / short wave infra-red spectrometry

LabSpec

FieldSpec

TerraSpec

QualitySpec

Material identification and analysis, moisture, mineral, carbon content. Ground truthing for airborne and satellite spectroscopic techniques.

PFTNA

Pulsed fast thermal neutron activation

CNA

In-line elemental analysis

XRD-C

X-ray diffraction (crystallography)

Aeris

Empyrean

Molecular crystal structure refinement,

crystalline phase identification and quantification, crystalline to amorphous ratio, crystallite size analysis

XRD-M

X-ray diffraction (microstructure)

Empyrean

X’Pert3 MRD(XL)

Residual stress, texture

XRD-CT

X-ray absorption imaging by computed tomography

Empyrean

3D imaging of solids, porosity, and density

SAXS

Small-angle X-ray scattering

Empyrean

Nanoparticles, size, shape and structure

GISAXS

Glancing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering

Empyrean

Nanostructured thin films and surfaces

HR-XRD

High-resolution X-ray diffraction

Empyrean

X’Pert3 MRD(XL)

Thin-films and epitaxial multilayers, composition, strain, thickness, quality

XRR

X-ray reflectometry

Empyrean

X’Pert3 MRD(XL)

Thin films and surfaces, film thickness, surface and interface roughness

XRF

X-ray fluorescence

Epsilon

Zetium

Axios FAST

2830 ZT

Elemental composition, elemental concentration, trace elements, contaminant detection

Expert solutions in agriculture and food sciences. Contact us to discuss your challenges.
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