Sunflower seed oil analysis by NMR

Oxford Instruments
Monday, 05 July, 2010

Trakya Birlik, an agricultural cooperative based in Edirne, Turkey, has purchased 21 Oxford Instruments Magnetic Resonance MQC-5 benchtop NMR analysers. The instruments will be used as part of an initiative to improve sunflower seed oil yield.

“The Trakya Birlik cooperative sought a fast, simple and accurate oil content measurement method as part of their plan to improve management of the cooperative and increase the sunflower crop’s oil yield. Using the MQC instruments will enable them to pay farmers based on actual oil content, rather than total crop weight,” said Barry Jones, Oxford Instruments’ Director of Sales.

The cooperative initially purchased several MQC NMR analysers in 2009 and the 2010 order for 21 more instruments was awarded after a competitive bidding process, bringing the total number of MQC-5 analysers in their possession to 46.

The instruments measure oil, fat and water content in a variety of foodstuffs, including such oilseeds as sunflower, soya and rapeseed. With this method, the cooperative can measure samples in less than two minutes, in comparison with a traditional chemical extraction technique that takes several hours per sample and uses hazardous chemical solvents.

The analyser’s compact size minimises the instrument’s footprint on critical laboratory benchtop workspace. It also includes a space-saving internal computer with operator interface, so no external PC is required.

With the recent change to a 17 LCD flat-screen monitor mounted on the magnet, the user is provided with a clear view of data and operational instructions. Test and diagnostic software makes remote servicing of the instrument a cost-saving convenience.

The MQC line is available in a number of models with probes ranging from 5 to 60 mm in diameter. Each instrument is shipped with all required software, hardware and sampling accessories, including set-up standards tailored to the user’s application.

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