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Visible and Near-Infrared Calibrations for Quality Assessment of Fresh Phase I and II Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) Compost

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Abstract:

Previous studies have shown that visible and near-infrared spectra (Vis-NIR) of dry and milled compost can be used for generating partial least squares (PLS) calibrations of phase II compost parameters including ammonia, nitrogen dry matter (NDM), dry matter (DM), pH, conductivity, carbon, microbial population, and potential productivity. The objective of this study was to develop robust calibrations for some of the key parameters from the spectra of fresh phase I and II composts. Samples of substrates from six commercial production yards were obtained during winter and summer months of 2000–2004 to monitor changes in quality and were analyzed for the test factors. Vis-NIR reflectance measurements of fresh samples (740) were made over the range of 400–2500 nm. After mathematical pretreatments, PLS calibrations of the key parameters were developed using the NIR (1100–2500 nm) and visible and NIR (400–2500 nm) regions and subsequently validated using an independent sample set of 123 phase I and II samples obtained during 2004–2005. The phase I and II standard errors of laboratory measurements of ammonia, pH, conductivity, DM, NDM, and ash were lower than the standard error of predictions of the same parameters, respectively, by the best NIR or Vis-NIR models. The degree of precision for some of the calibrations, especially ammonia, NDM, and DM, is suitable for composters to monitor changes in quality parameters during production. The laboratory measurement errors for phase I samples were greater than those of the phase II samples, except for ash, due to a higher degree of heterogeneity in the substrate. The calibrations, especially for pH, conductivity, and ash, need to be improved with new sample sets. A major advantage of NIR spectroscopy is the ability to assess substrate quality for a range of target parameters simultaneously, within a few hours of receiving the samples. The main drawbacks are the expensive instrumentation, expertise, and training necessary for operating the spectrometer and a dedicated chemometrician required for maintaining the equations compared to the reference methods.

Keywords: KEY QUALITY PARAMETERS; NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY; NIR SPECTROSCOPY; PHASE I AND II MUSHROOM COMPOST; VISIBLE SPECTROSCOPY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/000370205774783241

Affiliations: 1: Department of Applied Plant Science, School of Agriculture and Food Science, The Queen's University of Belfast, Applied Plant Science Division, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, UK 2: Applied Plant Science Division, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland, Loughgall, Co. Armagh, BT61 8JB, UK 3: Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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