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

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Using Novelty Gels in New Food Product Development

Choosing the optimum texture analysis test method to measure your new texture creations

Exciting new food textures will be among the emerging trends over the next three years, together with more ‘playful’ products for adults and more widespread use of edible packaging, according to a leading food futurologist.

Successful chefs have realised that to be at the top of their game they need to create new culinary experiences using a combination of unusual tastes, textures and theatrical twists to give the eating experience a new multi-sensory dimension. This is enabled by a variety of new high-tech equipment, adjusted traditional preparation techniques and a handful of clever chemicals. The myriad of gelling ingredients available to formulate such texturally amazing products is endless which means there is virtually no limit to the vast variety of food products that can be configured.

The food texture market is expected to reach $11,840.8 million by 2018, with a CAGR of 5.0% from 2013 to 2018. The texturising agents market is witnessing steady growth on grounds of diverse applications in bakery and confectioneries, and meat and poultry products.

Texturisers such as thickening, gelling, emulsifying, stabilising, binding, and clarifying agents have many versatile functions which has escalated their usage in application-specific ingredients and new upscale end-use products. Texturising agents are mainly used for improving the texture of the food by providing it with creaminess, clarity, thickness, viscosity, and various other characteristics. They are used alone or in a blend, in order to provide texture to the ultimate product and are helpful in providing stable structure to the food, thus increasing its shelf life.

Gels form when molecules of a given gelling agent interact to form three-dimensional networks. The texture of a gel rests not in a single moment, but every moment of consumption — the way the product breaks during the first bite, how it shatters or smears across the tongue and palate during mastication, and how long it takes to reduce the product from its original size, shape and consistency to that which is swallowed. And the characteristics that affect the perception at each of these stages of consumption are numerous.

Whilst some gels rely on chemical interaction for their gelation, other gels form as a result of thermogelation. The differences in gelling and melting temperatures and chemical interaction durations are common tools exploited by food scientists.

There are numerous new technologies with regards to structuring oils that are on the verge of appearing in experimental kitchens around the world including ethyl cellulose, combinations of β-sitosterol and γ-oryzanol and waxes. These technologies, with diverse potentials, may be used to vary the structure in everything ranging from liquid oils, to chocolate to comminuted meat products. In a similar fashion to hydrocolloids, these different oleogels vary in appearance from opaque to transparent gels, in hardness from soft to hard gels and in melting profile from thermally stable to unstable gels.

Once designed, however, the texture will need to be quantified because, after it’s bought and deemed desirable, any new product will then survive only as long as the manufacturer is able to provide it at consistent quality to meet the consumer’s expectations. Production methods, processing parameters, potential ingredient substitution will all need to be considered as to their contribution to change in finished product texture.

The market is exciting and playful, but loyalty is key and quick to change so you’ll want to make sure that the product quality is optimally measured and monitored to minimise failure. This is where texture analysis plays a role in ‘quantifying the feeling’.

Texture is magical. The way a food ‘feels’ affects the way we perceive its appearance, aroma and taste. And while manipulation of mouthfeel can seem mysterious, many tricks can help developers create and maintain the perfect texture — be it real or illusion.


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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!

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 Replicating Consumer Preferences

 Texture Analysis applications

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