Soybean Soybean

Spectroscopy for soybean analysis

Learn more about our applications for portable NIR spectroscopy in food analysis.

Using portable near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to measure soybean protein

Measuring soybean protein content using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has several benefits for the US soybean export industry, which is responsible for exporting millions of metric tons of soybeans to countries around the world. The US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) has been tracking soybean protein content for several years and promoting the use of field portable NIR spectroscopy as a cost-effective and efficient method for analyzing soybean quality. Some of the benefits of measuring soybean protein content using NIR spectroscopy include:

  1. Better quality control: Portable NIR spectroscopy provides a fast and reliable method for measuring soybean protein content, allowing exporters to ensure that they are delivering high-quality soybeans to their customers. This can help to maintain the reputation of US soybeans in the global market and increase customer satisfaction.
  2.  Improved market access: Many countries have minimum protein content requirements for imported soybeans, and measuring soybean protein content using NIR spectroscopy can help US exporters to meet these requirements. This can open up new markets for US soybeans and increase export opportunities.
  3. Cost savings: NIR spectroscopy is a cost-effective method for analyzing soybean quality. It requires minimal sample preparation and can provide results in a matter of minutes, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming laboratory testing.
  4.  Increased efficiency: By using NIR spectroscopy to measure soybean protein content, exporters can quickly and accurately sort and grade soybeans based on their quality. This can improve the efficiency of the export process, reduce waste, and increase profitability.

Overall, measuring soybean protein content using NIR spectroscopy can provide significant benefits for the US soybean export industry, including better quality control, improved market access, cost savings, and increased efficiency.

Using portable Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy for soybean analysis

Portable Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy is a rapid, non-destructive analytical technique that can be used for soybean analysis. It is similar to the traditional NIR spectroscopy technique, but with the added capability of field deployment, resulting in faster analysis.

Raw NIR spectra of ground soybeans, soy isolate, and soy concentrate

Raw NIR spectra of ground soybeans (high-oleic and conventional varieties), soy isolate, and soy concentrate.

Aykas DP, Ball C, Sia A, Zhu K, Shotts ML, Schmenk A, Rodriguez-Saona L. In-Situ Screening of Soybean Quality with a Novel Handheld Near-Infrared Sensor. Sensors (Basel). 2020 Nov 4;20(21):6283. doi: 10.3390/s20216283. PMID: 33158206; PMCID: PMC7662469


One of the key advantages of using portable FT-NIR spectroscopy for soybean analysis is the ability to analyze multiple components in a single measurement. This means that, in addition to protein content, other important parameters such as oil, moisture, and fiber content can also be measured in a single analysis. This makes the technique a valuable tool for soybean growers, processors, and traders to monitor and optimize the quality and composition of soybeans at different stages of the production process.


Portable FT-NIR spectrometers are small, lightweight, battery-powered, and combined with a broadband light source, making them ideal for use in the field or at remote locations. To perform soybean analysis using a portable FT-NIR spectrometer, a small sample of soybeans is placed in a sample cup, and the spectrometer is used to measure the NIR spectrum of the sample.


The NIR spectrum is then compared to a calibration model, which has been developed using samples with known chemical composition. This allows the device to accurately quantify the levels of various components in the soybean sample. The resulting data can then be used to optimize the production process, minimize waste, and ensure the quality and consistency of the final product.


Overall, portable FT-NIR spectroscopy is a valuable tool for soybean analysis, providing rapid, accurate, and non-destructive measurement of multiple components in soybeans. This can help growers, processors, and traders to improve the quality and profitability of their soybean products.

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