NIR or near-infrared spectroscopy is a technology which can be used to determine both physical and chemical parameters in both solids and liquids. The technique has a rich and well-known history of use in the medical field, but few people know of its uses in other industries.

It is widely used to analyze a variety of things across multiple industries, including the chemical industry, petrochemical, personal care, agriculture, and most critically in the pharmaceutical industry. While crop monitoring and regulation is important in general agricultural, it becomes even more critical when you apply it to the pharmaceutical field.

NIR Technology in the Pharmaceutical Field

NIR technology is already in use by pharmaceutical companies as a way to achieve full product inspection. NIR instruments are being moved from laboratories to warehouses and dispensaries and even near tablet presses to non-destructively assess the product’s quality at the point of manufacture.

Maintaining a standard of quality and meeting government testing regulations can cost up to 25% of the total annual operating budget, and that’s excluding the costs of raw materials. This may seem expensive but avoiding testing and risking non-compliance with regulations can end up costing even more due to product recalls and brand reputation damage.

The FDA and EMA (European Medicines Agency) have even provided formal protocols and guidelines for companies using NIR in the pharmaceutical field. Additionally, the technology can be used to perform quality checks which are required by the cGMP.

Advantages of Using NIR Technology

Besides the non-destructive nature of the test which allows you to reuse samples after analysis, the list of advantages to using NIR technology is extensive and includes:Results in minutes; the test is quick and provides immediate results.
Samples do not require preparation; liquids and solids can be used in their pure form.
Sample cost is low; you won’t need any expensive chemicals or solvents.
The technique generates no waste and is environmentally friendly.
Even inexperienced users find the technology easy to operate.

Bottom Line

While NIR is an alternative technique for testing the parameters of a product, it is well established and recognized, and is well regarded in a large range of industries. Its ability to be used without the necessity of a lab or especially trained staff as well as the quick results it provides, makes it an excellent resource for companies looking to maintain a high standard of product quality while complying with industry requirements.