Analysis of reed quality Microscope Analysis Selector
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Reed quality

The quality of reed can be analysed through laboratory testing. In 2016, the Dutch Federation of Thatchers issued a report regarding testing methods for reed quality. The intake and release of water by the reed is a significant factor in the durability of the material, which can be determined with several measurable parameters. Nutrilab has a great deal of experience with reed analysis.

Reed analysis

Several factors determine reed quality.

Salt content. The salt content is distributed along a gradient in the stem. The salt content in one part of the reed stem does not say much about the general quality of the reed. It is better to determine the salt content in three different parts of the stem. The stem at 0-6 cm, 6-12 cm and 50-56 are important for determining the gradient. The salt content of each stem part is measured in duplicate. 

Cutting height. The distribution of hemicellulose and lignin content is also distributed along a gradient in the stem. High-quality reed has a high lignin and low hemicellulose content at the base of the stem. Carrying out tests on three different parts of the stem also provides information on the best reed cutting height.

Water intake and water release properties. The less moisture is absorbed by the reed, the more quickly the moisture is released into the atmosphere, improving the durability of the reed.

Length/width ratio. Thicker reed can ‘breathe’ more, allowing it to dry faster and clog up less quickly. The thickness of the reed also influences durability.

Reed

Reed analysis packages

Nutrilab has various reed analysis packages available. Package 1 only tests the salt content. Package 2 tests the salt content plus lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose levels and the C/N ratio. Package 3 includes the tests from the earlier packages plus reed water intake and release tests. Analysis package 4 also includes testing of the length/width ratio, dirt analysis, a visual inspection with photos, and an assessment and conclusion based on the above information.

Table with reed analyses to determine reed quality

Package

Salt

Lignin, Hemicellulose en Cellulose, C/N

Water absorption and water release

Length/width ratio, dirt en visual inspection

Stem parts (cm)

Send to Nutrilab

1

X




0-6, 6-12, 50-56

Entire bundle

2

X

X



0-6, 6-12, 50-56

Entire bundle

3

X

X

X


0-6, 6-12, 50-56

Entire bundle

4

X

X

X

X

0-6, 6-12, 50-56

Entire bundle


Report

All values are reported against a reference value for good-quality reed. Analysis package 4 includes a description of the supplied reed with photos. The assessment and conclusion follow the guidelines in the report written for the Dutch Federation of Thatchers.

Reed

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