Kava ( Piper methysticum Forst f., Piperaceae) has anxiolytic properties and the ability to promote a state of relaxation without the loss of mental alertness. The rapid growth of the nutraceutical market between 1998 and 2000 has been stopped by a ban in Europe and Australia because of some suspicion of liver toxicity. It is now important to develop a fast, cheap, and reliable quality test to control kava exports. The aim of this study is to develop a calibration of the near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) using partial least-squares (PLS) regression. Two hundred thirty-six samples of kava roots, stumps, and basal stems were collected from the Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Technical Centre germplasm collection and from four villages. These samples, representing 45 different varieties, were analyzed using NIRS to record their absorption spectra between 400 and 2500 nm. A set of 101 selected samples was analyzed for their kavalactone content using HPLC. The results were used for PLS calibration of the NIRS. The NIRS prediction of the kavalactone content and the dry matter were in agreement with the HPLC results. There were good correlations between these two series of results, and coefficients ( R (2)) were all close to 1. The measurements were reproducible and had repeatability on par with the HPLC method. The NIRS system has been calibrated for the six major kavalactone content measurements, and it is suggested that this method could be used for quality control in Vanuatu.