Precision feeding in liquid feed

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Jasmijn van Wakeren
Jasmijn van Wakeren
Quality, Nutrition & Sustainability Manager
20 July 2021

Are you familiar with the NIR analysis technique?

Precision feeding: at Looop, we strive to make optimal use of organic co-products. We also want to contribute to the determination of optimally efficient rations. The current methods used to measure dry matter and nutrients are both time-consuming and costly. In order to make efficient use of liquid co-products, Looop and Trouw Nutrition joined forces to facilitate NIR analysis for wet animal feed. By gaining insight into the nutritional values of wet co-products, it becomes possible to respond faster and more accurately to the contents of the liquid feed ration and pigs can be fed with greater precision.

“Achieving a greater degree of accuracy one step at a time with a new technique”

How it works

NIR stands for Near Infrared Spectroscopy. This technique is used to determine the nutritional value of a sample based on an extensive database of reference values. Calculating a correct rations begins with the measurement of dry matter and nutrients. With the NIR method, the results are available in under one minute and there is no need to pre-process the samples. This means nutritional values can be determined faster and more samples can be taken in less time!

Five reasons to use the NIR method

1. Lightning-fast results

2. Accurate and reliable

3. More sampling leads to up-to-date and reliable matrices and greater insight

4. Allows you to quickly react to changes

5. Precision feeding is within reach; achieving a greater degree of accuracy one step at a time!


How do the reference values work?

Every product has its own calibration curve that is used for comparison during the measurement. This calibration curve is based on an extensive data set of analyses conducted in the laboratory. Reliable results are therefore guaranteed.

Will Looop be including the analyses in every shipment?

Not at first, but we may do so in the future. We are gradually working towards a greater degree of accuracy for our products.

Does this mean a product's matrices will change more often?

For the time being, the frequency of the matrices will remain set at twice per year. The advantage of the NIR method is that the matrices have actually become more reliable, because they are based on the results of far more analyses than before. For example, we (and other companies like ours) used to generate matrices based on the results of four to eight analyses per product per year. Using the NIR technique, Looop can generate a matrix based on the results of the most recent 400 analyses from the past six months. In other words: a shorter time frame with far more data. Furthermore, Looop keeps a close eye on things and can quickly detect changing values. When a product changes, we will take quick action to inform the client and, of course, the producer.

Can the NIR method be used by end users themselves?

At the moment, the NIR method is designed to be conducted in a laboratory using special equipment. However, Trouw Nutrition is hard at work on the (further) development of a handheld NIR device that can be used on site.

Are you curious or would you like more information?

Great! We gave a webinar during which various speakers, including representatives from Trouw Nutrition, offered detailed insight into the development of the NIR method. You can view the recording of the webinar via this link.

If you would rather get in touch directly, that is fine too. You can reach Looop via telephone or email using the contact information listed below.