Texture Analysis Professionals Blog

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

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. 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Measuring Indulgent Cosmetic Textures

If you have ever bought a cosmetic product from a make-up stand in a department store, you will have experienced a sales pitch from someone trying to tempt you into buying the product. 
You may have noticed that colour and fragrance are mentioned, but these are secondary to texture (and of course efficacy) – “this lipstick is creamy and feels moisturising all day”, “this face cream is thick and velvety”, “this lipgloss won’t make your lips feel sticky”, “this face wash gives you a luxurious lather”

You will not see this written on the side of cheap cosmetics, whose manufacturers think of texture as a last resort as they do not have the time or funding to carry out the required research.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Texture Analysis of Food in Vogue

Today, things are rather different in the food market from the produce that was available a few decades ago. 
While some familiar flavours and textures endure, the market is now defined by a constant stream of new flavours and textures allowing the food product development universe to expand in every direction.

Product development teams are seeing a new landscape of possibilities and behind this is growing consumer adventurousness. The broadening appetite for new flavours and textures stems from the exposure consumers now have to diverse food and drink cultures created by increased mobility, prosperity and the media-rich world. Younger consumers in particular are keen to seek out new flavours and textures and represent such an important target segment in this booming area of food product development.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

New method for measuring Unconfined Yield Strength of Powder using your existing Texture Analyser

Stable Micro Systems have launched the Unconfined Yield Stress Rig for the measurement of powder flowability.

In industries that handle powders on a regular basis it is very important to understand how a powder or granular material responds to pressure. In storage, the weight of powder in a container exerts pressure on the particles at the bottom. If the powder has good flow behaviour it will not consolidate and will flow out of the silo or hopper without sticking – this is very desirable. The longer a powder is stored for, the more likely it is to form a cake in its hopper and refuse to flow without further assistance.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Using Novelty Gels in New Food Product Development

Choosing the optimum texture analysis test method to measure your new texture creations

Exciting new food textures will be among the emerging trends over the next three years, together with more ‘playful’ products for adults and more widespread use of edible packaging, according to a leading food futurologist.

Successful chefs have realised that to be at the top of their game they need to create new culinary experiences using a combination of unusual tastes, textures and theatrical twists to give the eating experience a new multi-sensory dimension. This is enabled by a variety of new high-tech equipment, adjusted traditional preparation techniques and a handful of clever chemicals. The myriad of gelling ingredients available to formulate such texturally amazing products is endless which means there is virtually no limit to the vast variety of food products that can be configured.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Physical Analysis: Putting Cosmetics Packaging to the Test

The development of cosmetics for release into a competitive market is a high cost endeavour, so it would be inefficient for these high stakes products to be shipped in low quality packaging, or for the container to degrade during its shelf life.

Packaging is the first thing the customer sees in the shop so from this point of view the graphics and physical design are important to make it stand out amongst other similar products; the appearance of packages can directly affect marketing. However, the main purpose of packaging is to ensure the product arrives in a customer’s hands in perfect condition and to prevent any losses caused by shipping, handling or storage.