Application of VIS/NIR spectroscopy for estimating chemical, physical and mechanical properties of cork stoppers
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of visible and near infrared spectroscopy (Vis/NIRS) in predicting the chemical, physical and mechanical behavior of single-piece natural corks stoppers used for sealing wine bottles. Two training sets of 90 and 150 cork stoppers were used to obtain four spectra per sample in different positions: two of the stopper bases (transversal section) and two of the stopper sides (tangential section and radial section). The samples were scanned in the range of 400-2,500 nm using a Foss-NIRSystems 6500 SY II spectrophotometer equipped with a remote reflectance fiber-optic probe. On each training set, two-thirds of the samples were used to develop modified partial least square (MPLS) calibration equations, and the remaining one-third of the sample for the external validation of these MPLS equations. The best equations were obtained for the transversal section, which is the recommended one when applying Vis/NIRS technology to cork. The best results for the chemical composition were obtained for waxes and total polyphenols, showing coefficient of determination of the cross validation (r (cv) (2) ) values of 0.64 and 0.56 and coefficient of determination of the external validation (r (EV) (2) ) values of 0.53 and 0.55, respectively. The best equation for the physical and mechanical parameters was obtained for moisture content (r (cv) (2) = 0.86 and r (EV) (2) = 0.85), with somewhat lower results for density, compression force and extraction force (r (cv) (2) = 0.66, 0.72, 0.52 and r (EV) (2) = 0.52, 0.49, 0.51, respectively). The SECV (standard error of cross validation) and SEP (standard error of external validation) were similar for all the physical and mechanical parameters, thus confirming the robustness of the equations. MPLS model for moisture content fulfills the requirements for screening (RPD > 2.5), but MPLS models obtained for waxes, total polyphenols, density, compression force and extraction force are not good enough for routine analysis or quality control. The results obtained from the MPLS models based on Vis/NIRS technology would permit the continuous quality control of humidity in the production line as well as obtaining information about certain chemical components (extractives contents) and some physical and mechanical parameters (density, extraction force and compression force).
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