The resistance to decomposition of mahogany wood (Sweitenia macrophylla King) ranges from high to moderate level. Wood extractives, mainly due to the presence of phenol compounds are related to the natural durability of wood. The technique of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) coupled with multivariate analysis has been applied to assess the extractives and phenols of 41 samples of mahogany in powder form. The hot water-soluble extractives were quantitatively determined, and total phenol content was measured with the Folin-Denis colourimetric reagent. Models were developed with the NIRS data for each of the two variables. The results indicated that NIRS can be a useful tool to a rapid evaluation of the extractive contents and total phenolic compounds of mahogany wood. The method was able to predict the interesting properties with errors lower than 10% (w/w) and had the capability of detecting samples that have a minimum concentration of 2.4% (w/w) of extractives and total phenolic compounds, respectively.
©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston