Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy for precision in the feed manufacturing process

Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy for precision in the feed manufacturing process

The objective of Bonafarm-Bábolna Takarmány Ltd. is to provide high quality products to its partners both in Hungary and at an international level. To achieve this, it is crucial to have high quality raw materials in the feed mills that make it possible for us to formulate compound feeds that best fit the nutritional requirements of the animals. This is supported by a network of off-line and in-line NIRS (Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy) devices in the feed mills.

Bonafarm-Bábolna Takarmány Ltd. manufactures more than 400 thousand tons of compound feed annually at five premises (Nagyigmánd, Zalacséb, Újszász, Mohács and Dalmand). To produce high quality feed with precision, it is a must to have quick and easy access to reliable information regarding the nutritional composition of the incoming raw materials and the finished products.

NIRS is a quick and cheap analytical method that opened new opportunities for the feed industry in the field of process control, quality control and the optimization of formulation. One of the big advantages of this analytical method besides being quick is that it produces results comparable in precision to laboratory analyses regarding the nutritional composition of the product, providing objectivity for decision making.

We put great emphasis on quality control and quality assurance in our feed manufacturing processes, which is supported by a network of off-line NIR devices, and the fact that we only allow raw materials into our feed mills if it complies fully with the quality parameters set forth in the contracts. We test raw materials and finished products by batches and decide upon acceptance or dispatch within minutes. Continuous monitoring of raw materials and finished products also contributes to the optimisation of feed formulation, making it possible for us to meet the nutritional requirements of the animals tailored to their genetics, allowing for safe and efficient production while minimising the environmental impact.

Precision compound feed production supports the improvement of the economic efficiency of feeding, to which the rapid in-line NIR testing technology opens a new dimension by allowing for real-time interventions.

Bonafarm-Bábolna Takarmány Ltd. has implemented in-line systems at two of its sites (Nagyigmánd and Újszász) to achieve control of the full process and to allow for real-time interventions. The raw materials are monitored immediately before use in the flow and during mixing, making data collection more environmentally conscious while also making our calibrations more robust and improving the cost-efficiency of production.

This process not only allows for the optimisation of nutritional supply, but indirectly also contributes to decreasing both the metabolic nitrogen load of the animals and the environmental impact. Another advantage of this technology is that if any issues arise, an immediate response, a quick feedback can be initiated. By using the data provided by these devices we can analyse trends such as differences between input and output batches or variability between work shifts.

NIR engineers continuously monitor and calibrate the NIR devices at Bonafarm-Bábolna Takarmány Ltd. throughout the year to keep them working accurately and reliably. We calibrate our devices based on trends and results regarding the spatial (supplier, geographical origin) and temporal (seasons, storage) changes in the nutritional content of the raw materials. We continuously develop site specific calibrations to achieve more reliable and more accurate measurements. The data captured by the devices can be searched and retrieved at any time.

We provide trainings to ensure that our colleagues at quality control have up-to-date and immediately applicable knowledge regarding the operation of the equipment. With the help of results from the remotely controlled NIRS devices operated under controlled circumstances by qualified personnel, it is easier to calculate the level of production, the amount of feed supplements and feed costs, which supports cost efficiency in animal production.

With over 400 thousand tons of feed produced every year, we have enough data to exploit the potential of NIRS technology and achieve continuous and up-to-date precision feed production.


                                                                                          Eszter Szabó-Füzesi
                                                                                              NIR engineer
                                                                                                                                                                                             Katinka Szijj
                                                                                              NIR engineer
Bonafarm-Bábolna Takarmány Ltd.

Related Posts