Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy, 2019.


Breast milk is considered the ideal food for infants. However, breastfeeding is at times supplemented or replaced with suitable alternatives. Infant formula (IF) is an industrially produced food intended as a breast milk substitute, which needs to satisfy, by itself, all nutritional requirements of infants. For this reason, it is of critical importance that IF provides the adequate amounts of nutrients including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a promising emission spectroscopic technique for elemental analysis, which can provide real-time measurements with little to no sample preparation. Hence, the main goal of this thesis was to investigate the feasibility of LIBS as a quality tool for mineral analysis in infant formula manufacture. Experiments conducted in this work encompassed the determination of calcium and sodium contents in powdered IF samples, pelletising samples as the only sample preparation procedure; and ready-to-feed IF formula samples, by direct analysis of liquids without sample preparation.


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