Selected Article

Title

Improved prediction of potassium and nitrogen in dried bell pepper leaves with visible and near-infrared spectroscopy utilising wavelength selection techniques

Description

Wet chemistry analysis of agricultural plant materials such as leaves is widely performed to quantify key chemical components to understand plant physiological status. Visible and near-infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy is an interesting tool to replace the wet chemistry analysis, often labour intensive and time-consuming. Hence, this study accesses the potential of Vis-NIR spectroscopy to predict nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) concentration in bell pepper leaves. In the chemometrics perspective, the study aims to identify key Vis-NIR wavelengths that are most correlated to the N and K, and hence, improves the predictive performance for N and K in bell pepper leaves. For wavelengths selection, six different wavelength selection techniques were used. The performances of several wavelength selection techniques were compared to identify the best technique. As a baseline comparison, the partial least-square (PLS) regression analysis was used. The results showed that the Vis-NIR spectroscopy has the potential to predict N and K in pepper leaves with root mean squared error of prediction (RMSEP) of 0.28 and 0.44%, respectively. The wavelength selection in general improved the predictive performance of models for both K and N compared to the PLS regression. With wavelength selection, the RMSEP's were decreased by 19% and 15% for N and K, respectively, compared to the PLS regression. The results from the study can support the development of protocols for non-destructive prediction of key plant chemical components such as K and N without wet chemistry analysis.