Application of a handheld infrared sensor for monitoring the distribution of vitamins and minerals in fortified corn-based snacks
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Series/Report no.:Food Science and Technology. Graduate student poster competition, 2009
Fortification of snack foods is growing due to increasing consumer demand for healthier products. Total sales of snack foods in the U.S. grossed 26 billion dollars a year and corn based snacks accounted for 21.8% of total sales. Many snack foods produced in the U.S. are fortified with vitamins and minerals. The objective was to develop a real-time methodology for monitoring the uniformity of vitamins and minerals during fortification using a handheld infrared sensor. A fortification blend of zinc, iron, vitamin E, and calcium was added to whole grain corn meal at different levels (0.65% to 5.65%) and mixed for 30 minutes to obtain a homogeneous matrix. For real-time infrared analysis, aliquots (0.1g) were placed onto an ATR diamond crystal of a handheld spectrometer with pressure being applied. Spectra were collected in the 4000-700 cm-1 range. Distribution uniformity of the supplements was verified by high pressure liquid chromatography. Partial least squares regression analysis was used to correlate the concentration of supplemented vitamins and minerals in the whole grain corn meal with the infrared spectra. The model predicted the level of fortification in corn meal using the infrared region between 885 to 1225 cm-1 (r=0.98, 5 factors). The standard error of cross-validation was <0.35%. By using a handheld FT-IR instrument, a real-time methodology was developed for the snack food industry to monitor fortification in corn-based extruded snack products. This could provide the snack food industry with a simple, real-time method to ensure the homogenous fortification of snack foods.
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ahura Scientific, Inc.