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Physical Properties

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is more well known for chemical analysis, however the basis of Time Domain NMR (TD-NMR) quantification of oil (and water) content actually relates to physical properties; i.e. the discrimination of different phases (e.g. solid/liquid). Perhaps less well known, is that NMR is sensitive to surface relaxivity. Thus the NMR signal decay will be affected by the interfacial region between the probe liquid (typically water) and solid surrounding the pores found in rocks, concrete and catalysts; this provides a measure of pore size distribution. Similarly, the NMR signal can be sensitised to the restricted diffusion of water and oil in droplets, thus providing a measure of the droplet size distribution.

Solid Fat Content

The melting profile (Solid Fat Content vs. temperature) is an important property of edible oils/fats used in the bakery, confectionery and margarine industries.  TD-NMR is used in a variety of standard methods for the direct detection of solid and liquid fat (AOCS Cd 16b-93, ISO 8292-1:2008, IUPAC 2.150); the MQC+ complies with all those methods The MQC+ software allows users to set up their own protocols and leads the users through the calibration and measurement process; default instructions are English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. The instrument is supplied with calibration samples which are glass sealed to ensure longevity.

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Droplet size

Droplet size is a critical parameter in terms of the stability of food and other substances. It is widely used in the margarine industry as the size of the water droplets determine the microbiological stability. TD-NMR can measure droplet size distribution throughout a small sample without alteration and, if necessary, at a temperature at which it will remain stable. Furthermore, unlike microscopy, TD-NMR is fast, easy-to-use and can analyse a variety of samples, if they are opaque.

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