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Brighter near infrared light for food analysis

FOSS is participating in a research project to look at how a new, much brighter form of infrared light can be used for routine analysis in food and feed production.

Infrared analysis is a widely used technology in food and feed production today.  The aptly named ‘Light & Food’ project will investigate how the new laser-generated infrared light can be exploited for even more effective routine analysis applications. The project is led by the Copenhagen University, department of food quality and technology and will run for the next four years.

Up to a million times brighter

The brighter infrared light will be supplied by a new type of laser that delivers a near infrared light that is 100.000 to one million times brighter than conventional infrared light.

The laser has been developed in collaboration between Danish universities and technology companies, namely, Aarhus University iNANO/chemistry, DTU Fotonik and NKT Photonics A/S. Now scientists from Copenhagen University and FOSS analytical have joined the group under the Light and Food project.

The scientists will face a long list of scientific and engineering challenges to be solved if the project is to prove successful. For instance, the light source is so powerful that it might damage samples instead of analyzing them.

FOSS senior scientist, Thomas Nikolajsen said:”With this cooperation, FOSS can take part in the development of an exciting technology that can lead to new applications beyond our current offerings. It also strengthens our ongoing collaboration with the leading research and development work taking place in Denmark." 

Professor Søren Balling Englesen of Copenhagen University, department of food quality and technology, explained how Denmark has been leading in the use of infrared spectroscopy and other technologies for advanced food quality and production control for many years. "Now we are going to develop a second-generation instrument that can monitor food production with a new level of detail, to the benefit of industry and consumers."

Putting knowledge and product development together

FOSS has both product production and product development placed in Hilleroed, Denmark – a strategic investment that allows rapid development of new concepts and products. In the spring of 2013, the company will move into a new ‘innovation centre’ in Hilleroed  with the aim of creating an attractive and inspirational environment for future product development.

Each year, FOSS invests at least 8% of turnover in new product development. Around DKK 3 million is spent annually on collaboration with universities.

Danish high-technology fund

The Light and Food project is sponsored by the Danish high technology fund to the tune of 15 million kroner.  The fund aims to help Denmark drive innovative technology projects that bring companies and universities together and create new jobs.


FOSS Analytical A/S, Hillerød, Senior Scientist Thomas Nikolajsen, +45 7010 3370 / International press contact: Richard Mills, +45 48208583

Aarhus Universitet iNANO/Kemi, Professor Søren Keiding, 2899 2061

Københavns Universitet, Fødevarekvalitet og - Teknologi, Professor Søren Balling Engelsen, 3533 3205

DTU Fotonik, Professor Ole Bang, 4525 6373

NKT Photonics A/S, Birkerød, Project Manager Lasse Leick, 4348 3975


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