Why NIR Method Maintenance?


Why do we need periodic recalibration for NIR Spectroscopy?
Why do we need to recalibrate the NIRS method on an ongoing basis?

NIR Spectroscopy requires
extensive application calibration
and validation on an ongoing basis.



NIR Calibrations are based on mathematical models, based on spectral and reference data, and these data sources changes with time due to the following facts:

  • natural biological substances changes by season, weather, origin (continents, country), pollution, evolution of species, genetically changes, related especially to: Food & Feed
  • product production processes change by improvements, process parameters, timing, physical properties, environment, changed raw material variations, different suppliers, related especially to: Pharmacy, Chemistry, Process Analytical Technology (PAT), Quality by Design (QbD)
  • sample preparation changes chopping, grinding, milling, mixing (homogeneous), sieving, numerous effects of variable particle sizes, heating/freezing temperature program (ramp, hold), wet, dry, pressure and density, thickness, aging and contamination of samples between NIR and Lab measurement, air-tight transport cell, weight or volume, see NIR Sample Preparation
  • sample measurement changes measurement cell cleaning, container, glasses, petri glasses, cuvettes, plastic coverage, auto sampler adjustments and sampling plan, positioning, measurement area, fixed vs. moving spot, sample temperature, spectral resolution, apodization method (FT-NIR), number of scans, measurement repeats, averaging with/out outliers
  • reference method changes different method types, different Labs, refinements
  • SOP changes QA/QC procedures
  • instrument / spectrometer changes drifts by temperature and aging of electronic components, aging and defilement (dirt) of reference substances, wavelength accuracy, signal to noise ratio
  • new NIR data is collected continuously and should be used to extend the calibration, fill the matrix gaps, to increase robustness, and in some cases the older data can be faded out.
Because of all these changes, NIR Spectroscopy requires extensive application calibration and validation on an ongoing basis.

It’s like the weather forecast models, everything is changing and so the models need to be adjusted. Thankfully for NIR the period is longer than for the weather. But there is an interval, that means the models can not be held frozen and constant if the measurement results should be reliable. NIR requires periodic calibration and maintenance to ensure that it is operating correctly.

Please tell us your NIR Calibration maintenance interval and see how other NIR users do right now. Their are some NIR Guideline recommendations below….

well you should check this again after you have given your vote here:

Calibration Maintenance
How often do you update your quantitative calibrations per year?


Next Calibration Maintenance
With the presented information in mind, would you do more calibration updates per year?


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Related answer to question:
  • What is the reason to deviate NIR results from wet analysis?