The aim of this project is to realize a new "Time-resolved Raman spectroscopy sensor with automated, self-cleaning process interface" for industrial process analytical technology (PAT). Photonic methods are particularly suitable for the analysis of food, beverages, biotechnological products and biological substances because they can describe the quality quickly and comprehensively (chemistry and morphology). Spectrometers in the wavelength ranges from ultraviolet to far infrared have already found their way into industrial applications here, such as Industry 4.0, and provide a wide range of inline information on product composition and quality. For real-time quality analysis of food, which is used to detect contaminants in food production and in drinking water, the shelf life or freshness status of food should be evaluated. However, for biotechnological processes such as food production, photonic methods with higher selectivities such as Raman spectroscopy are necessary. However, the inline Raman spectrometers available on the market today are still too unprofitable for use in the food industry and are often insufficiently sensitive, since the signal often cannot be evaluated due to the resulting fluorescence. The Raman effect is not as intense and therefore often requires long measurement times in practice, so that more sensitive and precise spectrometer or sensor systems are required.
The planned joint project aims to close this gap and develop a Raman/fluorescence sensor that combines advanced technologies such as chemometrics, process analytics and chip-based platforms economically and with high selectivity. Thus, the framework conditions for an application in the food, beverage and biotechnology industry shall be fulfilled.

The project is funded by the VDI Technology Center under the number 13N14084.

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