Near-Infrared Technology Lets Us Scan Our Ingredients for Quality

Posted on: January 24, 2014

From the time of our company’s founding over eighty years ago, we’ve taken a leadership role in our use of technology to provide the safest possible products. One such use of technology— near-infrared (NIR) analysis  — has helped us evaluate our ingredients before they ever enter our facilities. While we didn’t invent this technology, our adaptation of it has proven so successful we’ve shared it with other companies, including pet food companies, knowing how much it could benefit pets and their owners.

What is Near-Infrared Technology? 

NIR is a type of technology commercially available to any pet food manufacturer. It’s commonly used to help screen materials for quality assurance purposes.

“From a food safety perspective, if one of our innovations helps others in the industry deliver a safer product, that's a good thing, because it's good for all pets.”

- Adrian Palensky, VP of Quality Assurance

How It Works

The near-infrared (NIR) equipment takes a spectral scan of the incoming material and compares it to reference scans we keep on hand in our ingredient library. This means we help ensure that new materials are up to the standards we insist on for our products. The NIR equipment can also give us an approximate reading for protein, moisture and fat content.

Pushing the Technology Forward

We believe Purina deploys NIR technology in a unique way. Partnering with the manufacturer of the analyzer, we’ve optimized the technology so that we’re able to test an ingredient inside the original package in the truck it arrives in. This helps us begin our quality checks before an ingredient even enters our doors.

“This improvement of the NIR technology can help the whole animal feed industry, not just Purina,” says Adrian Palensky, VP of Quality Assurance.  “From a food safety perspective, if one of our innovations helps others in the industry deliver a safer product, that's a good thing, because it's good for all pets.”

Better Technology Benefits All of Us

Safety has always been one of Purina’s top priorities. Today NIR technology is just one tool we use — every day we’re working on the innovations of tomorrow. In a field where the next breakthrough could be just around the corner, one thing will always remain constant — our commitment to use every available tool to provide the safest pet food possible.

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