Challenges in the transition to a new analytical process for sugarbeet quality analysis.
Sugar factories worldwide are facing several challenges, and the need to reduce costs of production and improve process efficiency is paramount. A repeatable analytical process is key to ensures consistent, high-quality data. The KWS BEETROMETER®, based on a process NIRS system, is an innovative system for standardized and full automated quality analysis of sugarbeets. The automated system reduces lab cost, lead to improvement in efficiency and low costs for maintenance and can be easily implemented in existing receiving labs. The previous measurement method involved processing sugarbeets into brei during sample preparation and then analyzing the brei for sugar content and non-sugar substances. The KWS BEETROMETER®, fully automated process, involves crumbling the beets into pieces and on a conveyor belt, a near-infrared spectrometer (NIRS) determines the sugar content as well as other quality-determining factors. As companies look to implement KWS BEETROMETER® in the receiving lab processes a big challenge is to design comparison test, based on high heterogeneity in distribution of quality compounds within and across beets. The production of a representative and reliable brei sample is influenced by the whole sample preparation process. Understanding the effects of the brei production and processing differences can aid in suitable process comparisons. Experience during implementation of the KWS BEETROMETER® at customers will be shown. During the accompanied transition from the previous measurement process to the new one many different analyses are performed. This includes not only the instrumental comparison but every process step in the quality analysis of sugar beets in the receiving labs. As an example of this, experimental results of brei processing and the influence on the reliability of quality parameter results will also be presented.