The application of near-infrared spectroscopy to high-moisture samples has shown that the accuracy does not match that found for dried materials. The objective of this work was to attempt to quantify the effects of water, pH, ionic strength, and differences in physical state on near-infrared spectra with the use of model compounds. Spectra were compared by regression analysis of second derivatives after spectral subtraction of water. Spectra from 4900 to 4100 cm<sup>-1</sup> at a resolution of 4 cm<sup>-1</sup> were examined. Regression results showed spectra to be more similar among amorphous sugars and among dissolved sugars than among crystalline sugars. Also, spectra of amorphous sugars were statistically more similar to spectra of dissolved sugars than to spectra of crystalline sugars. While the spectra of one dissolved or amorphous sugar were statistically similar, this was not true for amino acids. Spectra of amorphous amino acids were similar to those of crystalline forms and neither were similar to those of dissolved forms. Spectrally, polymeric carbohydrates appeared very similar to one another when dry and behaved like amino acids when wet. Finally, efforts to directly relate these findings to near-1R spectroscopy calibration problems will require further research.
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