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

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Getting a hold on the texture of gluten free products


Hand crushing bread sliceI hadn't given my sister's Coeliac Disease much thought until she invited me for a Sunday tea party last weekend. 

Whilst, as a food scientist, I appreciated that she had some adapting to do in her diet, I hadn't fully appreciated just what a wide range of products she'd been through to select the products that were as close as possible to the palatability of the gluten-loaded products she used to enjoy.

When gluten is removed from baked products, taste and mouthfeel are usually compromised – and it’s difficult for consumers to find gluten-free alternatives that taste good and have desirable texture properties. Gluten-free bakery product formulations have the tendency to be dense, have no structure, crumble easily and are prone to quicker staling.  Bakery formulators are striving to find solutions to these problems and quantify the effects of their efforts.

The visibility of gluten-free labels has increased significantly over the last two decades.  Consumer awareness of gluten sensitivity or intolerance and wheat allergies has also increased significantly, resulting in an increased demand for high quality gluten free baked goods.  In response, food manufacturers and suppliers have developed and introduced a range of specialty and mainstream gluten free products. Creating gluten-free products with quality comparable to gluten-containing products has been a significant challenge for developers and manufacturers alike. Although both quality and number of gluten-free products have increased significantly, there continue to be challenges that need to be addressed to provide gluten-free products that match the quality and range of traditional gluten-containing bakery products.


‘Applying Texture Analysis to Gluten Free Products’‘Applying Texture Analysis to Gluten Free Products’
With an incidence of coeliac disease approaching 1/200 in some European countries, the potential market for gluten-free products has never been so interesting. These products do, however, need to be fully assessed to make sure that their sensory range of properties meet consumer expectation. For more background, you might like to request our new article 'Applying Texture Analysis to Gluten Free Products'.


The replacement of gluten functionality in gluten-free products represents a major technological challenge, not least to the pasta manufacturing industry. Recent publications have described the science and technology involved in creating gluten-free cereal products.


Useful literature for gluten free product development
Textural attributes of wheat and gluten free pasta' is a particularly interesting chapter in the newly released book: 'Food Texture Design and Optimisation'. This chapter discusses the definition of good pasta, the measurement of pasta texture and the instrumental and sensory methods to quantify it along with factors influencing the textural properties and the effects of gluten-free.





TA.XTplus texture analyser with bloom jarFor more information on how to measure texture, please visit the Texture Analysis Properties section on our website.

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TA.XTplus texture analyser is part of a family of texture analysis instruments and equipment from Stable Micro Systems. An extensive portfolio of specialist attachments is available to measure and analyse the textural properties of a huge range of food products. Our technical experts can also custom design instrument fixtures according to individual specifications.

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