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

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Texture Analysis in action: the Cheese Extensibility Rig

Cheese extensibility test using the TA.XTplus Texture AnalyserThe CHEESE EXTENSIBILITY RIG (A/CE or A/CEA†) consists of a heat resistant vessel and double-sided fork probe. 

The vessel and fork assembly is filled with a known weight of cheese and microwaved (A/CE) or oven cooked (A/CEA) until the cheese is molten. 

A sample retaining insert is added to the vessel and the vessel/fork assembly slides into the fixture base, which is securely fastened to the Texture Analyser. The fork is connected to the load cell via a rapid locating adapter.
Measurement of extensibility properties of a cheese sample
Measurement of extensibility properties 
of a cheese sample
The Texture Analyser pulls the fork through the molten cheese, allowing the extensibility and resistance to extension to be measured. Cheese strength and extensibility are important textural attributes for many foods, most notably pizza.

†This attachment is a Community Registered Design.

Some more information on this fixture:

Molten Dairy Products
The extensibility of cheese is an important textural characteristic in a wide range of food applications – in particular, pizza. Freezing, shredding, thawing and even cooking cheese can have a significant impact on its textural characteristics.

Reduced-fat products also display very different characteristics compared to full-fat versions. All of this may result in a texture with undesirable mouthfeel. Previously, one of the most common ways to test the stretchability of cheese was to lift it manually with a fork and estimate the force required to stretch it, as well as the length to which it stretches. This method is inherently subjective and unreliable.

Measurement of Extensibility/Stringiness

Stable Micro Systems developed the Cheese Extensibility Rig in r
esponse to the need for an objective, repeatable test method for cheese. The cheese is cut into small cubes and microwaved in the vessel until molten. The sample retainer is slotted into the vessel, which is securely fastened to the base of the texture analyser. After the fork probe is attached, the arm of the texture analyser pulls the fork upwards through the molten cheese and Exponent software measures the force required to stretch the cheese and the distance to breakpoint.

Typical results show that the longer the distance, the stretchier the cheese. For repeatability and replication of consumer experience, a PT100 Temperature Probe may be used to monitor the temperature of a sample. The test can then be programmed to start when a chosen target temperature is attained. 

We can design and manufacture probes or fixtures for the TA.XTplus texture analyser that are bespoke to your sample and its specific measurement.

Once your measurement is performed, our expertise in its graphical interpretation is unparalleled. Not only can we develop the most suitable and accurate method for the testing of your sample, but we can also prepare analysis procedures that obtain the desired parameters from your curve and drop them into a spreadsheet or report designed around your requirements.

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 texture analysis Testing what varies in Dairy
 Dairy ProductTesting

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