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

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Cracking Egg Quality Assurance

Broken eggEggs continue to be a highly desirable and nutritious food. They can impart characteristic taste or texture to a food product, provide leavening to bakery products, retard crystallisation in foods and confectionery, and many other functions. 

Providing high quality eggs and egg products is crucial to the sustainable economic viability of the egg industry. A review of surveys conducted in the EU indicated that shell strength, albumen consistency (including height) and yolk colour (intensity of yolk pigment) are the main measures of quality important to consumers. Therefore, guaranteeing quality is essential to meeting consumer expectations. 

Stable Micro Systems have launched a suite of egg testing tools to use uniquely in conjunction with the TA.XT Express texture analyser. The suite of egg testing procedures provides the tools that enable the producer and packer of eggs to accurately and consistently measure the quality of their eggs. They can regularly monitor a range of parameters to ensure that their eggs meet the required quality standards and that these are maintained throughout the laying period.

It is important to assess the flocks so that the eggs from the best flocks are directed towards the customers that demand the highest quality. On the other hand, eggs from flocks that consistently supply inferior eggs can be directed towards other egg products that do not have such high quality standards as whole eggs or maybe dealt with accordingly.

Supported by Exponent Lite Express software, the new suite is able to carry out 10 different measurements in less than four minutes. At the start of testing the software provides the operator with a list of parameter options from which to choose the set of tests to be performed on each egg. These tests include whole egg weight, shell breaking strength and deformation, egg albumen height, the calculation of Haugh Units, dry shell weight, shell thickness and vitelline membrane strength with the ability to manually input the colour of the yolk so that it is digitally stored alongside all of the other egg testing data.

Quick and easy instrument calibration and verification means that each test (collecting data at 400 points per second) obtains an accurate measurement. Test probes are magnetically located to enable quick removal and switching between different measurements and thereby increasing sample throughput. Step by step software commands lead the operator through test procedures easily with the aid of diagrams to illustrate each test instruction.

The new egg testing suite is available in multiple languages and has automatic report generation of the collected data which can be viewed, printed and stored. It will be of particular interest to egg producers who are looking to evaluate how changes in feed have affected the quality of their eggs, but also to packaging suppliers who want to ensure their products provide sufficient protection from damage.

4 egg tests using the TA.XTExpress
Left to right: Shell breaking strength and deformation; Albumen height and Haugh Unit calculation;
Shell thickness; Vitelline membrane strength (yolk rupture).
Maintaining quality is a vital concern for egg producers as it directly affects the grading and ultimately value of their products. Our new egg testing suite enables processors to implement a total quality management programme, ensuring that shell, albumen and yolk quality are maintained at all times throughout the laying period.

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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