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Nitrogen/Protein

The total protein amount is important information for quality control and protein values for the food and feed industry along with research facilities. 

The most efficient way to find the Nitrogen/Food Protein values is the Dumas Method which combusts samples using a high-temperature furnace in an oxygen rich environment. The Dumas method is much easier to use, faster and fully automated compared to the Kjeldahl method. Also, as with Kjeldahl, it does not give a measure of true protein which requires different correction factors to obtain a correct value.

Dumas nitrogen determination requires well-homogenized samples, heated in a high-temperature furnace where the combustion takes place rapidly at over 1000 °C in the presence of pure oxygen. This produces mostly water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen as well as several oxides (NyOx). This gas mixture (most water is removed) is passed through a reduction chamber containing copper heated to around 650 °C. This converts nitrogen oxides into elemental nitrogen and collects the oxygen in excess. Different traps remove the residual water and carbon dioxide. Total nitrogen content is measured by a thermal conductivity detector.

 

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Our technical team was approached by a Fortune 500 company to help them with a Loss on Ignition or LOI/residue reference standard for testing a proprietary material they produce. Their process used a Thermal Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and was modified to test their specific materials. Initially we were able to provide them with a reference standard that had somewhat similar properties for them to reference. The company’s product is highly proprietary and initially the customer was apprehensive about sharing further details with our team. Over time, as the customer became more familiar with Alpha Resources® and our personnel, their appreciation for our technical capabilities and confidence grew considerably.