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Available Technology

Agriculture, Biotechnology

Fourier Transform Mid Infrared Spectroscopy Models & Associated Software for Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate Quantifications in food and other plant materials

Inventors: Dr. Dil Thavarajah, Nathan Johnson, Amod Madurapperumage, Leung Tang

Market Overview

Rapid, inexpensive, and nondestructive technologies to measure nutrient compositions in biological (organic) materials are essential for their use in industrial utilization for human/animal health, energy generation, and nutrient-recycling. However, the currently available methods are expensive, take weeks to a month to generate results, and are highly destructive. For example, protein analysis uses the Kjeldahl method or nitrogen analyzer, which typically takes days to get results costing up to $100 per sample. Similarly, starch and fat analysis are time-consuming and require expensive instrumentation. This newly developed model and associated software takes 30 seconds or less to analyze a sample, is non-destructive, and costs less than a dollar per sample (when included with the instrument, operator costs, and 20% margin). In addition to protein, the same scan will provide carbohydrate and fat results, requiring no additional scanning or operating time—up to nine nutrient composition results for less than a minute and dollar per sample.


Food processing, food quality control, nutrition, bioenergy generation, plant breeding, agricultural operations, biomaterials

Technical Summary:

Partial least squares (PLS) models were developed inside MicroLab Expert to predict several seed composition traits (protein, sulfur-containing amino acids, starch, resistant starch, saturated and unstaturated fatty acids etc.). These models require MicroLab Expert for application but can be exported/imported into MicroLab PC for easier use. Export also allows distribution. Although the end-user cannot easily modify the models, model specifications
can be made available for end-user model reconstruction/alteration. Models will be periodically updated and improved as model training sets improve and as MicroLab software
is updated. The model source code is housed with the local MicroLab software; however, instrument and model settings/specifications could be available upon request.


• Shorter time (<1 minute) and low cost (<$1) for nutrient type and composition data
• Accurate quantification method for solid and liquid samples
• Non destructive; hence same sample is available for other analysis
• User-friendly software, allowing methods to be created and spectra collected with relatively little technical knowledge

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Technology Overview

State of Development

Beta Test


Agriculture, Biotechnology

CURF Reference No.



Dr. Dil Thavarajah, Nathan Johnson, Amod Madurapperumage, Leung Tang

For More Info, Contact:

Chase Kasper at kasper@clemson.edu
Please put technology ID in subject line of email.


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