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

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Does your bread have bounce?

When searching for the perfect loaf, freshness is number one on the shopper’s agenda.

The springiness of a loaf is something that consumers will universally assess when choosing which one to buy.  This often directly correlates to how soft and springy the finished bread is. The springier the loaf is, the fresher it is perceived to be. 

It would seem impossible to quantify accurately something that may seem so subjective, but advances in physical characterisation technology have enabled manufacturers to monitor even this – the most crucial assessment of all.

One of the most common ways to test the softness of a loaf is by squeezing it between the thumb and fingers, creating a ‘V’ shape with the hand. Stable Micro Systems’ Bread V Squeeze rig imitates this process and allows manufacturers to carry out repeatable, scientific analysis of the freshness and appeal of their bread.

What’s the testing solution?
The Bread V Squeeze rig comprises of ‘V’ shaped rounded ‘fingers’, positioned at an angle to represent typical squeezing action, which are attached to the arm of the TA.XTplus Texture Analyser. The rig is then lowered onto a packaged or unpackaged loaf, and the force required to compress the bread is measured. Post-test calculations are then used as an indication of freshness – the lower the force and higher the value of springiness, the “fresher” the loaf. This non-destructive freshness test offers simplicity and speed due to the fact that the loaf requires no sample preparation and can be determined within the packaging.

Not just some half-baked idea…
Assuming that all of the necessary characteristics have been considered by manufacturers prior to the bulk preparation and baking processes, a perfect loaf of bread should ensue. When considering the consumer, however, the most important textural assessment is that of the finished product. The quality of a loaf during its shelf life is a vital consideration.
For bakery manufacturers, the necessity for repeatable, scientific analysis is vital in terms of achieving maximum profitability in this ever-evolving industry. Texture analysis will ensure that only the highest quality products appear on supermarket shelves, which is good news for manufacturers and consumers alike.

The assessment of dough stickiness prior to bulk preparation is a definite advantage to manufacturers wishing to save time and money, as well as create a high quality end product. 


Watch our video about testing of bakery products Download a published article covering methods for the testing of bakery products

Browse our range of bakery product testing solutions

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