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

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Cake Freshness Lab – Perfecting Cake Science

Cake Freshness Lab screenThe Puratos Cake Freshness Lab: perfecting the science of putting time and freshness on your side!

Cake science is allowing major progress in extending the freshness and shelf life of packed cakes, and certain manufacturers are taking full advantage of this progress. What do they know that allows their cakes to retain freshness long after other cakes have staled?

The Cake Freshness Lab shares with you the secrets of more and longer freshness for all packed cakes. Delivering freshness solutions that help you increase consumer satisfaction and the profitability of your cakes is one of the most important things that Puratos does. 

Behind their freshness commitment, you’ll find one of most accomplished teams of food scientists, engineers, bakers and market experts in the cake industry.   

As users of Stable Micro Systems Texture Analysers, these experts are able to provide the ideas and innovations that are guiding new developments in cakes everywhere. From the key trends that are shaping your business to the science of longer shelf life, you’ll find plenty of fresh and provocative ideas shared in these whitepapers.

At the Puratos Freshness Lab, they’re helping the baking industry deliver the world’s freshest cake solutions - read all about it in their three whitepapers...

Typical Cake Testing Applications
Assessment of Cake Staling, Springiness, Rate of recovery, Elasticity

Cake compression test - Hold Until TimeWhile firmness is the component most often measured in assessing bread texture, several other components also contribute to overall texture of cakes.

A measurement of both firmness (according to the AACC method 74-09) and springiness (elastic recovery) can be made by adaptation of the AACC method into a 'Hold Until Time' test, where a compression distance is held for a chosen period of time, over which the product's recovery is recorded.

Typical curves produced from testing of sponge cake after storage for 1, 2 and 3 days
Typical curves produced from
testing of sponge cake after
storage for 1, 2 and 3 days

A simple calculation can be made to analyse the data which can be used in another area in which rheology plays an important role in breadmaking and baking, namely staling.

A major change during the ageing of bread/cake is an increased resistance to compression (firming) and a loss of recovery when compressed, i.e. decreased springiness.

Studies of this rheological change may prove beneficial in obtaining a better understanding of the staling process and how to control it.

AIB Firmness test on cake sampleMeasuring Firmness –
AIB Standard Procedures

The AIB sample preparation procedure for cake uses a template to provide two 1½" wide slices from the centre of the cake, which are then rested on their side for testing.

A 1" diameter cylinder probe penetrates the crumb to 6mm in three different areas close to the centre of the crumb; the maximum force is recorded and used as an indication of firmness.

Typical curve produced from the AIB method for muffin elasticity
Typical curve produced from the
AIB method for muffin elasticity

High profile textural characteristics of muffins are their firmness and ‘elasticity’. The standard AIB Muffin Firmness and Elasticity method measures initial firmness at two depths (6.25mm and 7mm) and then the residual firmness after an incremental 30 seconds of hold time using a 18mm rounded edge probe.

The residual force after 30 seconds' holding time is then divided by the initial force at that depth to calculate percent ‘elasticity’ (often also called relaxation). This test is performed on samples which have had their ‘crowns’ removed, so as to display a flat surface for correct probe to product contact for repeatability purposes.

Another concern with using special ingredients to firm up a baked product is whether the exterior crumb of the product is affected as a side effect of the treatment. To examine the firmness of the muffin crust, a knife blade can be used to cut through the top crowns of the muffins that were removed.

The peak force of each curve can be used as a measure of the hardness of the crown, whilst the gradient of the initial part of the curve (usually between 5 and 30% of the maximum force) can be used as a measurement of the crust's stiffness.

For more information on how to measure texture, please visit the Texture Analysis Properties section on our website.

TA.XTplus texture analyser with bloom jar The 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.

No-one understands texture analysis like we do!

To discuss your specific test requirements click here...
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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