Farmer standing in a cornfield holding a tablet in his hand
OEM Applications

Agriculture & Food

  • Smart and vertical farming
  • Food quality control

Challenging global climate and high demand Smart and vertical farming

In times of climate change and growing populations, smart agriculture with connected spectroscopic devices provides optimized yields and minimized costs. Leaf and soil analysis for plant health control and modern LED lighting solutions for greenhouses and indoor farming support efficient crop growth. ZEISS provides robust, compact and low-cost spectrometers – ideal for plant health and horticulture.

High quality standards in complex food chains Food quality control

High quality standards for food ingredients, process intermediates and finished goods are essential to ensure food and beverage safety and to avoid food contamination. Smart, reliable and automated food inspection technology is necessary to improve returns, gain operational efficiency, consistent quality and reduce waste and overall costs.

Smart and vertical farming

Lettuce crops in greenhouse

Plant health

Modern smart agriculture goes hand in hand with routine monitoring of plant health, which ensures the right dosage of fertilizer and water is administered during growth. This maximizes productivity, saves costs and protects our environment. Plant health can also be determined with soil analysis or direct leaf measurement. Significant parameters for plant health accessible by VIS-NIR leaf spectroscopy are concentrations of the pigments chlorophyll, carotenoids, water or proteins.  ZEISS MMS 1 (310 - 1100 nm)  is perfect for quantification of chlorophyll in leaves which is directly correlated to nitrogen levels (fertilizers) in crops. Besides, carotenoids indicating water stress as well as moisture content are  determinable.
ZEISS also offers real-time  
NIR sensor solutions  for smart farming applications in the field.

Ventilator and special LED lights belts above lettuce in aquaponics system combining fish aquaculture with hydroponics, cultivating plants in water under artificial lighting, indoors

Horticulture lighting

One important aspect of plant growth in greenhouses and vertical indoor farming is optimized lighting. As a supplement to sunlight, LED plant lighting is increasingly important, substituting traditional high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting. LEDs are perfect for greenhouses and vertical farming thanks to low power consumption and heat dissipation, a long lifetime and multiple color-schemes, as the ideal spectrum changes during growth. The ZEISS CGS-CCD spectrometer (190 - 1015 nm) provides valuable data about greenhouse light over the full UV-NIR range, which is not covered by PAR-sensors measuring only within the visible range. This allows for lighting schemes such as combinations of sunlight and red and blue LEDs to be adjusted in real-time, optimizing production efficiency.

Food quality control In-line metrology for food characterization

VIS-NIR spectroscopy enables cost-effective, non-destructive and in-line metrology for food characterization and quality control according to PAT guidance. This includes food ingredients, process intermediates and finished products thus comprising the entire food processing cycle. ZEISS VIS-NIR spectrometers, such as MMS-1,  MCS-CCD NIR or PGS series allow for the quantitative analysis of food content such as protein, moisture, fat, sugar, salt, dry mass or its color characterization. ZEISS spectroscopy supports our food customers as an experienced OEM supplier as well as a system provider. Corona® extreme and Corona® process from ZEISS provide full-scale in-line spectrometric solutions especially for food sectors as dairy, bakery, confectionary & snacks and malting & brewing.

Transport of freshly harvested apples in a food factory. Fruit sorting and processing

Fruit & vegetable processing

Visible and NIR spectroscopy is utilized in fruit and vegetable pre-harvest and post-harvest quality control and processing. Ideal times to harvest are determined by measuring brix and dry matter. Furthermore, the spectroscopic analysis of sugar, total soluble solids, internal defects, acids or color is necessary in post-harvest processing such as fruit sorting & grading, further processing or drying steps. ZEISS MMS1 NIR enhanced (310 - 1100 nm) and MCS-CCD NIR (600 - 980 nm) spectrometers are ideal for internal & external food and vegetable quality inspection, with excellent wavelength stability & long-term calibration, minimal thermal drift and robust design. Plane gratings and Polychromator gratings in the VIS and NIR range are well adapted and can be tailored to customer-specific spectrometer designs for fruit and vegetable processing.

Ground beef on a conveyor belt, processed meat

Meat production

NIR spectroscopy (NIRS) is an excellent tool for the content analysis of raw material such as minced mixtures and the monitoring of ageing processes or adulteration, which ensures high quality standards in the meat processing industry. ZEISS PGS NIR spectrometers (960 - 2500 nm) offer fast, non-destructive estimation of fat, water and protein e.g. in sausages or ground meat. With excellent wavelength stability, a robust and compact design and optimized thermal stability, PGS NIR is ideal for meat quality and processing  applications.
ZEISS optical gratings for customer-specific spectrometers are well adapted to Raman spectroscopy, which is used for quality control, contaminant identification and the handling of various meat products. Parameters such as proteins, water and lipids are determined within these processes.
Hyperspectral imaging is used to improve meat quality by combining spectral and spatial information. Offner gratings for hyperspectral imaging can be tailored to VIS, NIR spectral ranges, enabling multi-channel detection. Recent detector developments enable the combination of VIS and NIR spectral ranges into one spectrometer.

Conveyor belt, juice in glass bottles on beverage plant or factory interior, industrial manufacturing production line

Beverage production

UV-VIS and NIR spectroscopy is utilized for a variety of lab and industrial processing applications in the beverage industry. The industrial production of beverages like soft & energy drinks, juice, mineral water, alcoholic beverages or tea & coffee require fast, low-cost in-line solutions.
ZEISS provides customized fiber-optic OEM spectrometers as well as system solutions allowing for a non-destructive real-time analysis of multiple liquid constituents in one shot.  MMS UV-VIS and PGS NIR  spectrometers specify color, caffeine, phosphoric acid and sugar content in soft drinks. In wine production, they are ideal for pre- and post-harvest wine analysis. MMS 1 UV-VIS ensures contaminant-free CO2 gas in mineral water. Furthermore, ZEISS MMS 1 UV-VIS are employed in mineral water production by ensuring contaminant-free CO2 gas quality. For the brewing industry and coffee roasting, Corona® extreme und Corona® process from ZEISS deliver a complete solution comprising a spectrometer system, calibration and software package.

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