Lab in a pocket: BASF and trinamiX tool designed to enhance feed formulation, quality control

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Yagi Studio
© GettyImages/Yagi Studio

Related tags Basf Evonik NIR spectroscopy feed formulation

BASF Animal Nutrition and trinamiX, a subsidiary of BASF SE, have collaborated on a new NIR spectroscopy tool for the feed industry.

Having significantly miniaturized conventional Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, they said they have paved the way for a high-performance ‘lab in the pocket’

The partners added that the handheld device provides customers across the entire value chain with a fast and reliable on-site analysis of animal feed and ingredients. 

Customers can receive relevant insights into the quality and nutritional value of samples at the push of a button. The solution thus enhances feed formulation and quality control, said the collaborators.

“The mobile device from trinamiX and BASF can be used anywhere in the feed industry, regardless of the size of the companies.

“In terms of its use at feed manufacturing plants, the incoming inspection of raw materials and the outgoing inspection of finished feeds are ideal areas of application. Fast results are needed here, and that is exactly what the device from trinamiX and BASF delivers,”​  Dr Gerd Diebold, global product management and marketing performance, ingredients and solutions, BASF, told FeedNavigator.

In addition, the parties see many possible applications in the agricultural sector, the tool can enable rapid analyses of feed and ingredients immediately and on site, such as silage evaluation or for on-farm feed production, he said.

Nutrient composition

Differing needs across life and health stages as well as changing raw materials require constant dietary adjustments. “Gaining transparency on the nutrient composition of feed is key when addressing livestock requirements. Using our mobile NIR solution, feed millers, nutritionists, and farmers get a fast and independent solution to guarantee the quality of animal diets.”

The companies said the tool supports parameters critical to feed quality and the wellbeing of livestock, including moisture, protein, fat, and energy.

The technology is not about replacing other analytical methods. “We see the handheld devices, which are mobile and can be taken and used anywhere and, above all, provide immediate results, as an ideal supplement to the more complex and lengthy analyses in the laboratory,” ​added Dr Diebold.

Measuring a sample takes less than a minute and can be performed on the spot. The results are instantly displayed in the smartphone app and are permanently accessible via trinamiX’ web-based customer portal for further evaluation, said the developers.

BASF and trinamiX will continue work to enhance the tool. “Continuous updates via cloud ensure that upcoming applications and features are always available to customers without replacing the hardware.”

Digital focus

BASF Animal Nutrition has been increasingly focused on digital technology to help tackle industry challenges.

In December last year, it announced a new software partnership with Adifo that was designed to advance feed formulation and support more sustainable animal protein production, integrating sustainability analytics powered by BASF’s AgBalance Livestock project into Adifo’s BESTMIX feed formulation software.

The idea was that customers could improve their formulations for least environmental impact, including sustainability as a parameter into their formulations and rations.

Meanwhile, in July 2020, it announced the acquisition of Cloudfarms, a software company for livestock farm management, traceability and precision farming with a focus on pig production.

Cloudfarms technology enables producers, located anywhere around the world, to continuously improve the efficiency and productivity of complex farming operations, said the German firm.

That same month, both BASF and another German specialty chemicals company, Evonik, invested in a Chinese technology startup, SmartAHC, that is said to enable more intelligent and healthier pig farming. 

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