In 1992 it was decided to investigate the potential use of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for purpose of process and quality control at CSM Suiker. This paper describes the outcome of the research program on NIRS in chronological order. It comprises the experiences obtained during method development, the obstacles encountered as well as the way the problems were solved. Eventually the authors have been successful in the development of a complete automatic NIRS analysis in different kinds of liquid factory samples and sugar pro-ducts. The NIRS methods now applied in the CSM Suiker factory laboratories, enable the fast analysis of either dry substance content, sucrose content and purity or dry substance content, Clerget sugar content and invert sugar in these samples. Some other potential applications of NIRS which has been studied will be outlined. They show both the multipurpose character and the bounderies of this analytical technique.
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