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

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Testing packaging pouch performance

Stand-up flexible pouches are in vogue all over the world and according to experts are set to experience high growth in the future, too.

There are many reasons for this. They are attractive to consumers and easy to handle to transport, for instance. They were very much led by the squeezable baby fruit sauce packages but now when we observe the retail food shelves, we see ketchup, mayonnaise, wine, salsa, honey, juice, premixed cocktails, and a host of fluid food products in stand-up flexible pouches.

Food packaging has evolved to aggressively assume a more active role to assist consumer packaged goods companies in differentiating their products in the marketplace. 

Various materials, shapes, structures, and functionalities have been applied to making a product package stand out amidst the noise of the competitive environment. With two-thirds of consumer purchasing decisions being made in the retail aisle, enticing and functional packaging is more important than ever in a food product’s success or failure.

The flexible package not only protects the food contents, but can also be manipulated to accommodate tight spaces for consumers packing the product on the go and/or finding room for it in the refrigerator, freezer, pocket, purse, or pantry.  

Flexible pouches containing the same volume of product as rigid or semi-rigid containers are not as bulky on the retail shelf, making more space available. The flexible package unit weighs less and occupies less space on distribution vehicles, which translates into lower distribution cost per product unit.

A Sachet/Tube Extrusion Rig (as shown left) quantifies the force required to extrude the contents of tube and sachet style packaging and allow manufacturers to quantify the ease of removal and application of products. 

The rig allows the positioning of the end of a sachet or tube vertically between two rollers, clamping the closed end with a grip at the top. The grip then pulls the sachet/tube upwards through the rollers, forcing the contents out. The higher the force recorded during this test, the more difficulty a consumer would experience in squeezing out the required amount.

By testing the force required to extrude the contents of a sachet or tube at regular intervals over a long period of time, product developers can analyse changes in a product's consistency throughout its shelf-life and adapt formulations accordingly. 

This specially designed extrusion rig, comparing force against time (as typically shown below), 
can alert manufacturers to a product’s suitability for packaging in this format. Such a test at this stage of production could spell the difference between a successful and appealing product and one which will cause waste and inconvenience. 

For manufacturers, failure at the last hurdle would bring disappointment and huge material losses.

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 testing of materials Putting Packaging to the Test
 Materials and Packaging Testing

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