How does NIR technology work?

Near Infrared Reflectance (IR) technology employs Near Infrared wavelengths to provide a surface measurement of your products moisture composition. A well distributed moisture composition presents an opportunity for a fast, easy and dynamic measurement of virtually any product.

IR Measurement

A simplified description of IR theory states that an IR light is focused on a sample and a specific wavelength is absorbed by the analyte. The reflected or transmitted light of that specific wavelength is related to the analyte concentration and used as the basis of the IR measurement.

When IR light reaches a sample several interactions can occur: the light is absorbed, reflected, or transmitted. Transmitted light will pass through the product, backscattered light will reflect from the product, and some light will be absorbed by the product. Absorbance is the key to IR measurements. The concentration of an analyte is related to the absorbance. IR instruments use either reflectance or transmittance to determine the absorbance.

Dull matte samples give diffuse reflectance while shiny mirror-like samples give specular reflectance. These reflectance interactions are generally used for measurements on solid samples. Most materials have both specular and diffuse reflectance components. Typical diffuse reflectors include dull paper, tobacco, and ceramic powders while typical specular reflectors include glossy paper, foils, and plastic sheets.

Some light transmits through thin or transparent samples either diffusely, for scattering (translucent) samples, or directly, for transparent samples. Measurements on liquids typically use transmitted light.


Sensortech filters a quartz halogen light source into a series of pulses of specific wavelengths. The filtered beam of wavelengths is directed onto the surface of your product and measures the reflected energy against a reference source. The constituent being measured, typically moisture, is calculated through a specialized amplitude ratio algorithm providing a precision measurement based on your products molecular structure.


341 Bernoulli Circle
Oxnard, CA 93030
United States of America

Phone: (805) 981-3735
Fax: (805) 409-4833


Distributiestraat 73
The Netherlands

Phone: +31(0) 183 445051
Fax: +31(0) 183 445059



Xin Cun Lu 1388 Nong 10 Hao 1302 Shi
200333 Shanghai, China