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  • 1 Technical University of Dresden Mommsenstr 13 D-O-8027 Dresden (Germany)
  • | 2 Institute for Plant Growing D-O-4350 Bernburg-Hadmersleben (Germany)
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Abstract  

Determination of protein content in food materials is usually done by analyzing the nitrogen amount by wet chemical Kjeldahl method. An improved accuracy accompanied by smaller analyzing intervals can be achieved using nondestructive neutron activation. Analyses have been performed using 14 MeV neutrons to determine the content of N and P in single wheat corns. Irradiation parameters have been optimized to prevent serious radiation damage in the grains. About 200 single corns have been investigated with total net weights ranging from 30 to 70 mg. The tested arrangement allows determination of nitrogen amount in a single corn down to 0.3 mg with an accuracy of better than 4%. Mean nitrogen concentrations in the range from 9 to 19% per corn have been detected.