The objective of the research study was to assess the suitability of near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) for the analysis of nutritional value of deli products and pastas available on the Polish market. The assessment was made on the basis of the comparison between the NIR and laboratory analysis results of nutritional values. The NIR instrument was calibrated for the three groups of products: 1) deli products with meat, such as croquettes, pierogi (dumplings with various fillings), pyzy (potato dumplings), tortillas; 2) deli products with quark, such as pierogi with quark and ruskie pierogi (dumplings with quark and potato), crepes with quark, leniwe (sweet dumplings), knödels (fruit dumplings); 3) other deli products such as potato dumplings, steamed dumplings, crepes without a filling and also cooked pasta. The calibrations were performed by correlating the NIR spectra with the results of laboratory analyses for each product group and chemical components. It was shown that at least for two analysed groups of products, the measurement quality was acceptable as regards the following chemical components: water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, mineral components in the form of ash, fibre and saturated fatty acids. No satisfactory results were obtained for sugars (monoand disaccharides) and salt (NaCl). The low accuracy of NIR measurements of those chemical components could result from a low or insufficiently differentiated, substance- specific level of the measured substance in a given group of the products or from a low interaction of that compound with the near-infrared radiation, which makes it difficult to detect it. Based on the results presented, it can be concluded that the NIR method is suitable for the accurate prediction of the majority of chemical components, which make up the nutritional value and which should be stated on the label of deli products and pastas. It can be a good alternative to cost and time-consuming laboratory analyses.
near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR), nutritional value, deli products, chemometrics, NIR calibration