In the study of ecology, among others, chemical analysis of plant and animal tissues becomes a very important task. Usually, we are faced with a limited budget and very little time to do all the analyses we need. This situation will, more often than not, result in sub-standard samples and poor levels of duplication. This is why the creation of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy or NIR spectroscopy is a very important invention indeed.
NIR spectroscopy is the answer to our analyses woes because it can give us fast, efficient, quantitative and non-destructive analyses of a vast range of organic tissues. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy depends on the number and type of different kinds of Hydrogen bonds, such as Nitrogen-Hydrogen (N-H), Carbon-Hydrogen (C-H) and Oxygen-Hydrogen (O-H), in the organic tissue being analyzed through an NIR spectrometer.
Using an NIR spectrometer, spectral features of the tissues are then combined with dependable and efficient analyses using a predictive statistical model of the same type of tissues. The findings on this model are, then, utilized to forecast the constitution of new or unknown tissue samples.
NIR spectroscopy may also be used to scrutinize some specific elements (such as, Nitrogen as protein – indirectly) or distinct compounds (like starch) or more multifarious, poorly-defined characteristics of substances (like fiber or animal food intake). These have been effectively patterned with near infrared reflectance spectroscopy.
The exactness of the values being used as reference for the calibrated data set, partly, establishes the amount on the forecasts made by NIR spectrometer. That being said however, NIR spectroscopy analyses are usually a lot more accurate than the usual laboratory tests.
But near infrared reflectance spectroscopy is not just confined to determining the accurate number of known compounds; it is also used to distinguish between multifarious and complex concoctions or mixtures and to recognize significant compounds that have an effect on certain attributes of interest.
NIR spectroscopy is vastly popular for analyzing the composition and functionality of agricultural and manufactured products. However, many ecologists still do not utilize this method in performing similar analyses. There are a vast number of ways NIR spectroscopy can help ecologists; and if used properly, near infrared reflectance spectroscopy will give ecologists the analytical power they need.