Texture Analysis Professionals Blog

How to measure and analyse the texture of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Substantiate your product claims with the aid of texture analysis

Customers are wary of manufacturers using taglines to tempt them into buying their product – a conditioner that states “hair three times suppler after first use” will not sell well if customers start using it and find no difference to their tresses. 
News travels fast these days with thousands of cosmetics review sites and online shops, and products that fail to live up to their claims will be given poor marks. The manufacturers could have performed a simple bend test on hair specimens treated with their conditioner and would have found their mistake before it was too late. 

The development of methods to measure the effect of cosmetics is driven by increasing pressure on cosmetic companies to provide solid evidence to support product claims.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

New Food Texture Trends at IFT

The 2017 exhibition for the Institute of Food Technologists was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from June 25th to 28th, showcasing thousands of developments in the food technology industry.

The show gives a good reflection of the current wants and desires of consumers, and they seem to be asking quite a lot from manufacturers this year. One major area to consider while keeping up with these trends is food texture. The majority of attendees were heavily aware of the importance of texture measurement in R&D as well as its maintenance in quality control; texture is such an important quality of food and beverage products that many manufacturers mention a textural attribute specifically by name on a product’s packaging or even in the name itself.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Toast your Roast with Texture Analysis

Variations on ‘Roast Dinner’ are eaten for different occasions all over the world – a roast joint of meat, potatoes, vegetables and gravy, often followed by a stodgy pudding such as an apple pie.

This is a meal that consumers look forward to so it is important that the texture of each component is no less than perfect. This analysis would be carried out for the purpose of calculating ideal cooking times, in the case of a supermarket or a chain restaurant, or to test the quality of supplied ingredients.

Texture Analysis – Time for Tea!

Texture Analysers are made in the South of England, where afternoon tea stacked high on a triple tiered cake stand is a staple for any big celebration.  

Our customers around the world may be surprised to find some items here that aren’t so different from their own national food.

The first component of afternoon tea is a large, fluffy scone, cut in half and spread with sticky jam and clotted cream. There are regional arguments for whether jam or cream should be applied first, but in both cases cream and jam that are hard and difficult to spread cause the scone to break up under the knife, which is very undesirable. The softness of the inside of a scone can be assessed by preparing a cubic sample, having cut the crusts off, and performing a compression test with a large cylinder probe. A soft sample will yield under a low force.

The Perfect Texture of Lunch

A sandwich, a bag of crisps and a can of soda – the lunch eaten by millions of people around the world every day.

They are not aware of the meticulous testing that has gone into every stage of their meal, from the packaging down to the wheat flour used to make their bread. It is no surprise that food manufacturers focus so much of their effort into tailoring these items so they are a perfect compromise between cost and quality, to be pleasing to the customer but not expensive to manufacture.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Texture Analysis of your Breakfast

A satisfying breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day. It is often composed of many different components, each with a different texture, and there are many variations around the world.

An example of a widely-consumed breakfast is the “continental breakfast”, comprising of bread, cold meat, cheese, yoghurt, fruit and cereal. Regarding texture, bread should be resilient (brittleness in bread suggests staleness), ham and salami should be tender, and breakfast cheese may be soft.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Texture tricks – using Hydrocolloids to create Textural Sensations

Texture is magical. The way a food “feels” affects the way we perceive its appearance, aroma and taste. 

And while manipulation of mouthfeel can seem mysterious, many tricks can help developers create and maintain the perfect texture – be it real or illusion. The following excerpts are from an original article written by R. J. Foster, and is a gem for those interested in the incorporation of hydrocolloids and their effect on texture. 

The texture effect  
Consumers rely on texture as an indicator for many different qualities of the foods they eat. Some textures might imply a lack of freshness: carrots that are soft or limp, bread that is hard, or a stick of chewing gum that crumbles...

Texture Analysis in Sports Nutrition – Hydrating and maintaining hydration with hydrotabs

Low Tolerance Powder Compaction test of a tablet
using the TA.XTplus Texture Analyser
Hydrotabs are specifically designed sports rehydration tablets that ensure fast hydration during intense exercise. 

These quickly dissolved tablets are packed with electrolytes and are high in sodium (and usually containing other electrolytes) to further promote the hydration process.

Compact solution
Many products are produced in powder format and then compressed into tablets. Powder compaction is an essential step in the manufacturing process and it is essential to avoid products cracking during processing. 

Their liability to failure is influenced by the powder’s processing properties, such as density variations introduced during die filling and/or compaction. 

The characterisation of powder in its bulk format can enable manufacturers to predict the behaviour of the powder when compressed; however, the need for more targeted analysis of powder compaction has been identified and, as a result, the Powder Compaction Rig was developed.