We present two applications of spectroscopy to help in the development and production of fast moving consumer goods.
We have developed an instrument which combines time-gated Raman spectroscopy integrated with a fiber optic probe bundle for multi-spectral, multi-point investigation of the distribution of chemicals in complex powder mixtures by separation of their individual Raman spectra. The combined instrumentation design is designed for application in a production environment. This finds particular utility in monitoring the production and potential segregation of washing powders, which require consistency; particularly in the developing world where the efficiency of washing with small amounts of powder is beneficial. However, washing powders, in line with many powder products, have the additional problem of an overwhelming fluorescence signal which is stronger than the Raman signal, arising from the use of artificial whiteners added to such powders. We overcome this through the use of a novel time-gating method separate the “instantaneous Raman signal” from the time delayed fluorescence emission.
We will also present a novel use of confocal microscopy in obtaining high resolution images of fluorescently labelled mascara on eyelashes. This is achieved by mixing mascara with a small amount of fluorescein powder. From these images it is possible to see phenomena such as the bridging of mascara between lashes and to accurately determine the thickness of the mascara. This technique has potential in the testing of mascara by cosmetic companies, and also in monitoring other reactions which involve a waxy substrate which adheres to a curved surface.
The two methods demonstrate how significant commercial challenges can be solved through the application of methods more associated with academic research.
Penelope F. Lawton and John M. Girkin, "Using spectroscopy and microscopy to aid in the development and production of fast-moving consumer goods (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10110, Photonic Instrumentation Engineering IV, 101100N (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2017; Published: 28 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252423.5393916882001.
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