Ascorbic acid (or vitamin C) is one of the most widely used food supplements in the world. In addition to being a notoriously known prevention against scurvy today, it is also an important antioxidant. It is also used in the food industry as a protection for pickled and frozen fruit from browning, in the production of plastics as an additive in polymerization processes or to neutralize iodine in chemical water treatment. This makes it a very important substance, the quality of which needs to be reliably monitored.
Ascorbic acid is usually mixed with excipients, such as starch, which act as a filler or binder, depending on what is needed. In such mixtures, accurate determination of the ascorbic acid content is a costly and time-consuming operation that requires experienced qualified personnel and a variety of measuring and laboratory equipment. Toxic substances are also often used in such analyzes, which represent an unnecessary burden not only financially but also for the environment.
One of the most elegant methods of modern analysis is FT-NIR spectroscopy (near-infrared spectroscopy). It is a fast, simple, accurate and reliable method with which even a non-expert obtains data on the concentration of the test substance in a matter of seconds. It consists of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation (infrared radiation) with a sample, which is absorbed by vibrations that are unique to each molecule. It is therefore non-contact and non-destructive, and thanks to the properties of NIR radiation, it can be measured through a number of packaging materials. In addition, it requires (almost) no sample preparation, so the time and money costs per measurement are minimal.
With the TQ Analyst program, you can then easily create a calibration model from the measured spectra, with which each analysis will be a matter of a few seconds.