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Erick K. Towett, Merle Alex, Keith D. Shepherd, Severin Polreich, Ermias Aynekulu and Brigitte L. Maass Applicability of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) for determination of crude protein content in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) leaves Food Science & Nutrition 1

Article first published online: 5 DEC 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.7

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There is uncertainty on how generally applicable near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) calibrations are across genotypes and environments, and this study attempts to assess how well a single calibration performs across a wide range of conditions. Calibration statistics for crude protein (CP) suggests that NIRS can predict this parameter in a wide range of cowpea leaves from different agro-ecological zones of eastern Africa with high accuracy. NIRS analysis improved when a calibration set was developed from samples selected to represent the range of spectral variability. The current model is applicable in predicting the CP content of young cowpea leaves for human nutrition from different agro-ecological zones and genetic materials, since cowpea leaves are one of the popular vegetables in the region.

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