Food is a market that offers many opportunities for XRF. Samples can be measured as loose powders or pressed into pellets and ready for measurement within seconds.
There are a number of minerals and metals added for extra nutritional value that must be monitored to comply with food administration regulations.
The XRF method can not only reduce manufacturing costs but also improve food quality and help to safeguard human health and even lives. There are a number of established applications already:
- Chlorine in snack foods- Chlorine is monitored to control taste or assure compliance with low salt labeling of products. Snack foods like potato chips, processed meat and cheese that are often high and salt have been successfully analyzed by XRF.
- Iron in Flour, Rice and Other Grain- Grains and processed flour have long been fortified with iron, and XRF instruments are used to monitor it.
- Calcium in Orange Juice, Cheese, and Other Foods- Calcium has long been added to orange juice, and is frequently added to many foods as a supplementary source of calcium for the prevention of osteoporosis.
- Titanium and Cookies and Snack Cakes- Titanium dioxide is used to make cookies cakes and fillings whiter and brighter. It is in pretty high concentration and is easily measured by XRF.
- Iron in Milk Powder- Iron is added to milk powder as a supplement, and is commonly analyzed by XRF.
- Na, Mg, P, Cl, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, and Zn in Pet Foods and Animal Feed- The nutritional value of pet foods and animal feed can be controlled by routinely monitoring the product with XRF.
- Al, and P in Dough- Aluminum and phosphorus are two more elements in addition to iron that are usually in dough and can be measured by XRF.
- Ash in Flour- The ash that remains when flour is burned is composed primarily of Na, Mg, K, and Ca oxides. The ash percentage and composition have an effect on taste and mouth feel of product made from flour, so they are routinely analyzed. XRF is an excellent method for performing this analysis.