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Food & Feed

In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the need for analysis of food quality and safety, as well as composition and authenticity of food products; all of which can be done nondestructively with Raman spectroscopy. A couple of examples include the presence of contaminants in food, and the identification of food additives and ingredients including cellulose, sorbitol, stearic acid and starch. The composition of edible oils and the amount of fatty acids present in those oils is an important indication of their value as well as identity. Raman spectroscopy provides a means of quantifying the composition of fatty acids in food products, as well as other components in food, such as flavors.

The nutritional composition of feed including quantitation of protein in grain and fat in milk can be determined using Raman spectroscopy:
• Measuring chain length and extent of saturation of fatty acids in edible oils
• Meat product quality analysis
• Product authentication and contamination
• SERS analysis of food contaminants including bacteria, antibiotics, dyes, etc.
• Analysis of components in grain kernels
• Raw material identification/verification for the food and beverage industries


i-Raman® Prime

High throughput, Highly Sensitive, High Resolution Raman System



Handheld Raman Spectrometer



Portable Raman Analyzer for Rapid Analysis and Identification Through Opaque Barriers


i-Raman® EX

1064nm Fiber Optic Raman System


i-Raman® Plus

Highly Sensitive, High Resolution Fiber Optic Raman System



Handheld Raman Spectrometer


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Application Notes

Ever since the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended that all pharmaceutical companies test every raw material that passes through their manufacturing facilities, this practice has attracted great interest in the nutraceuticals, food manufacturing, cosmetics, and agricultural industries, pushing them to strive for more rigorous and technology-oriented quality control standards.
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Edible oils are not only a major source of nutrition but also a key basic material in the food industry. Vegetable oils are increasingly important because of their high content in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids in comparison with animal fats. In this application note, the main ingredients of olive oil, camellia oil, arachis oil, sunflower seed oil, and colza oil are analyzed using a portable Raman spectrometer combined with chemometrics software from B&W Tek.
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Over the past several years, an alarming trend has become evident, highlighting serious issues related to contaminated alcohol within the European Union. In September 2012 the Czech Republic officially banned the sale of hard liquor after 20 people died from the consumption of methanol-laced spirits. After an exhaustive study, the Czech Republic turned to the use of portable Raman spectroscopy to quantify methanol in contaminated spirits.
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Today’s Raman instrumentation is faster, more rugged, and less expensive than previous instrumentation. Now, with the advances in component miniaturization, the design of high performance, portable and handheld devices has introduced the technology to new application areas that were previously not possible with older, more cumbersome instruments.
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Ripening is one of the most important transformations that fruits and vegetables suffer, from an unripe to a ripe stage. In this study, it was followed up and analyzed the variations in the composition of tomato fruits at different ripening stages (green or unripe, orange or middle ripe, red or ripe and brown or overripe). The results obtained from the Raman measurements carried out showed a change in the composition of tomato fruits in the transit from green to brown.
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Quality control in the food industry is a key issue that requires rapid, efficient and selective methods that could discriminate the products, detect fraudulent or accidental adulterations, and identify the content of some biomarkers within a particular process of storage conditions. For this, Raman spectroscopy in conjunction with the optical properties of metallic nanostructures is a powerful technique that can be implemented in food analysis.
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