Low-Level Nitrogen Samples in Food Materials

Did you catch our recent article on Food Navigator? Nitrogen content in food materials is necessary to measure when determining the total protein content. This measurement of nitrogen content can be performed using a classical wet chemistry method, but this tends to be a slow and tedious process. The combustion-based Dumas method has gained popularity in recent years as it significantly increases laboratory productivity. Yet when the sample has a low level of nitrogen it can be challenging to analyse. Examples of these hard-to-analyse samples include dry corn starch, NDIN filter bags, nutritional drinks, and beer. How can the combustion method be optimised to accommodate these lower-level nitrogen samples?

LECO Solutions for Inorganic Material

From raw materials till finished products, different industries trust LECO rapid and accurate analysers measuring quality and strength on every step of materials transformation process. Learn more about Carbon and Sulfur Analysis by Combustion with the LECO CS744 and CS844, Oxygen/Nitrogen/Hydrogen Detection with the ONH836, Oxygen/Nitrogen determination by Inert Gas Fusion with the ON736, and multi-phase Carbon and Water determination with the RC612.

Well-balanced crops require well-balanced soil. While carbon may be the most essential element for organic life, the right ratio of nitrogen and sulfur in the soil along with the carbon can really influence the speed and strength of plant development and growth. With a macro combustion carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur determinator such as LECO's CNS928, those ratios can be discovered easily through fast and precise analysis.

There are countless fertilizers that can be applied to change the ratio of elements in soil, but without knowing the baseline for your soil, you have no practical way of knowing what it needs. LECO's CNS928 can take some of the uncertainty out of soil management.

While helium remains the inert gas of choice for elemental analysis, supply is limited, driving cost up. The CNS928 is designed to support the use of either helium or argon as a carrier gas. The thermal conductivity difference between argon and nitrogen is not as great as the thermal conductivity difference between helium and nitrogen, so the detector is inherently less sensitive when using argon for nitrogen determination, but the CNS928 does offer the option of using a larger 10 cm3 aliquot loop. The 10 cm3 aliquot loop helps to overcome the lower sensitivity of argon carrier gas by optimizing the system for the lowest nitrogen range and provides the best precision.

To see how the CNS928 handles carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur determination with various combinations of carrier gases and aliquot loop sizes, read the app note.

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