A new measurement unit, the MilkSpec-1, has been developed to determine rapidly and nondestructively the content of fat, lactose, and protein in raw milk using near-infrared transmittance spectroscopy. The spectral range over 700 to 1100 nm was used. This unit was designed for general glass test tubes, 12 mm in diameter and 10 mL in volume. Al2O3 with a thickness of 2.5 mm was found to be optimum as a reference for acquiring the milk spectrum for this measurement. The NIR transmittance spectra of milk were acquired from raw milk samples without homogenization. The calibration model was developed and predicted by using a partial least-squares (PLS) algorithm. In order to reduce the scattering effect due to fat globules and casein micelles in NIR transmittance spectra, multiplicative scatter correction (MSC) and/or second derivative treatment were performed. MSC treatment proved to be useful for the development of calibration models for fat and protein. This study resulted in low standard errors of prediction (SEP), with 0.06, 0.10, and 0.10% for fat, lactose, and protein, respectively. It is shown that accurate, rapid, and nondestructive determination of milk composition could be successfully performed by using the MilkSpec-1, presenting the potential use of this method for real-time on-line monitoring in a milking process.
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