Richard Dempster - Articles and news items

The value of a number

Issue 4 2009  •  12 December 2009  •  Richard Dempster, Director, Product and Technological Development, AIB International

Often, we get in the habit of accepting numbers from computerised displays without regard to accuracy or precision, and when we do evaluate a number, we often look at how precise it is. We forget that we can be very precisely wrong. We don’t really pay close attention to numbers from our bank’s ATM, a gas pump or a near infrared instrument unless we think they are substantially wrong. We certainly pay closer attention to our bank account but tend to accept numbers from other devices that may have greater monetary importance and higher error rates. In this article, I will give a brief overview of the main sources of error specifically associated with near infrared (NIR) instruments and what effect these errors have on the number displayed. The overall goal is to interpret the numbers correctly. In this article, I use NIR as a general term to include both reflective and transmission instruments.

Innovative uses of NIR to improve baking

Issue 4 2005, Past issues  •  21 November 2005  •  Dr. Richard Dempster, American Institute of Baking

Near Infrared Reflection (NIR) is an established and valid measurement method for many specific compounds, (moisture, protein, fat, etc.) within the food industry. Recently, two ideas have emerged from the American Institute of Baking (AIB). The first is to use NIR to monitor processes and the second is to use NIR to predict the performance of flour in the bakery. This article will focus on how AIB is developing an NIR prototype to follow and/or predict dough development.


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