Food Analysis pp 375-385 | Cite as

Basic Principles of Spectroscopy

  • Michael H. Penner
Part of the Food Analysis book series (FSTS)


Spectroscopy deals with the production, measurement, and interpretation of spectra arising from the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter. There are many different spectroscopic methods available for solving a wide range of analytical problems. The methods differ with respect to the species to be analyzed (such as molecular or atomic spectroscopy), the type of radiation–matter interaction to be monitored (such as absorption, emission, or diffraction), and the region of the electromagnetic spectrum used in the analysis. Spectroscopic methods are very informative and widely used for both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Spectroscopic methods based on the absorption or emission of radiation in the ultraviolet (UV), visible (Vis), infrared (IR), and radio (nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR) frequency ranges are most commonly encountered in traditional food analysis laboratories. Each of these methods is distinct in that it monitors different types of molecular or atomic transitions. The basis of these transitions is explained in the following sections.


Energy Level Electromagnetic Radiation Vibrational Level Ground Electronic State Energy Spacing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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