"It only takes 20 seconds to measure a representative sample of about 30 kilograms of chopped sugarbeet in this way. The result is the adjusted sugar content, to the nearest decimal place," says Dr. Peter Hofmann, the KWS Executive Board member responsible, among other things, for the sugarbeet business, “This development shows the advantages of our independence and underscores our innovative strength," adds Hofmann. "KWS itself decides in which areas we conduct research in order to translate the good ideas of our teams into new products. With this new service, we are strengthening our position as a partner to sugarbeet growers and factories."
Previous measuring methods in the sugarbeet industry are far more demanding: Typically, factories send beet samples to a central laboratory for chemical analysis. The conventional process requires complex sample preparation, trained employees and generates chemical waste. KWS' new process, on the other hand, is flexible, can run 24/7 with very little personnel, does not require chemicals, and the results are available within seconds.
KWS is cooperating with the German company Polytec, who provides the NIR spectrometer and with Putsch, a leading company for sugarbeet processing equipment, who is manufacturing the BEETROMETER™. With over five million samples, KWS has analyzed many sugarbeet varieties for many different regions and precisely calibrated the measuring system.
The BEETROMETER™ is now being used for the first time in commercial applications by the sugar producer American Crystal Sugar Company in the USA. “The BEETROMETER™ is an efficient alternative to conventional analysis systems," explains Stefan Meldau, who is responsible for the commercialization at KWS. "Our compact technology can be installed as a stationary unit in sugar factories or used on mobile systems for flexible use in the field, for example.”