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Texture Analysis Professionals Blog

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

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

The weird and wonderful is on its way

Food manufacturers constantly strive to keep ahead of consumers. Not only are consumers realising that the world must change how it eats to limit climate change they are forever yearning new sensory experiences. Developments abound in the field of plant-based foods, the use of insects, 3D printing, lab-grown food that look to appeal to consumers newly found moral considerations whilst providing intrigue, novelty and a great back story. With all of these developments there will be the need to assess texture – either to compare with a standard product that has textural expectations or to provide a quality control tool when the final product is mastered. Here are just a few examples of food developments where texture analysis is being featured as a star employee.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Texture Analysis in plant-based and vegan product development

Image credit: Andrew Coppolino/CBC
One of the biggest challenges in developing plant-based foods is creating an appealing texture. Navigating this complex area requires a detailed understanding of the structural properties and composition of food formulations.

Say cheese. But is it? Lab-made non-dairy breakthrough acts, tastes and cooks like cheese is an article by University of Guelph researchers who have recently used their Texture Analyser to develop a plant-based cheese alternative.

Although it is common knowledge (and sense) that the texture of food is integral to the experience of eating, it’s not a straightforward concept. Texture encompasses many different sensorial qualities and is evaluated from the moment the product is first handled through to when it is chewed and swallowed. Texture evolves in the mouth, from the first bite, through the chewing action and mixing with saliva. Understanding how a product needs to behave to secure consumer acceptance and appeal is an essential part of the development process. Getting to grips with texture in vegan product development is an article recently published by Reading Scientific Services that also shows how they use their Texture Analyser to help in development of plant-based foods.

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Quantifying your product’s signature sound

There’s an entire industry dedicated to making foods crispy. When you bite into an apple, a sharp, crisp crunch tells you it’s fresh. Without such a characteristic sound the apple would be less appealing. Similarly, there is a distinct noise emitted when you bite into the crunchy coating of a choc ice or snap a cracker in half. The science of sound emission is called acoustics and its analysis gives you vital information on the quality and acceptability of the food – both actual and perceived. If consumers perceive a crisp that crunches louder as tasting fresher, manufacturers turning the volume on product crunchiness might be more likely to attract loyal consumers. And if you want to make your textural claims on your packaging e.g. 50% more crunch, you’ll need to substantiate your claims using objective and quantitative measurements.

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Hair testing research round-up

In a world full with mirrors and Instagrammable opportunities, the way hair looks is generally at the top of the list of beauty priorities. It's no wonder, then, that haircare products account for a significant portion of the beauty market. Today's producers must attain product consistency and high standards, as well as novelty value and noticeable outcomes, if they are to succeed in keeping customers coming back for more.

The science of texture analysis has a wide range of applications in the haircare industry. With its compressive and tensile capabilities, the TA.XTplusC Texture Analyser can apply specially designed test techniques to examine an unrivalled range of physical qualities. These test methods can be used to evaluate claims about product performance by quantitatively testing the effects on hair.

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Keeping up in texture: Interesting texture-related literature

We’ve kept our eye out for interesting literature which highlights the use of a Texture Analyser and helps provide an understanding as to the sensory link between the consumer’s perception of products and how objective assessment has its place in the development or products in research, development and industrial quality control.

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

The Measurement of Mucoadhesion/Bioadhesion

Mucoadhesion is the process by which a drug delivery device is designed to stick to a part of the gut or other mucosae, thus delivering drug to a precise site in the body for an extended period. This gives more effective treatment of some diseases and can also protect drugs from some of the harsh conditions in the body. Mucoadhesive drug delivery systems are used to treat several conditions in the mouth and have been investigated as treatments for stomach ulcers and cancer. The majority of infections affecting man and animals take place or start in mucous membranes. The ability to retain pharmacologically-active agents for extended periods of time on any mucosal epithelium, including those of the nose, mouth, rectum or vagina confers several potential therapeutic advantages.

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Why is texture so important to personal care and skincare products?

Consumers today expect to be wowed by a personal care product, and texture is crucial in this process. It occurs in the first instance due to the aroma, which is the primary criterion for first product purchase and subsequent brand loyalty. The second factor is touch, which is a sensory factor. Humans are connected to the world through their senses, thus it's critical to provide them with a positive sensory experience when using a product. People no longer solely value a product by how effectively it performs but they now particularly like it when a texture changes when it comes into contact with their skin or hair. Brands have recognised this and have directed their formulators to develop new components that combine the strength of many textures to increase the consumer's enjoyment of the product. To create textural transformations formulators working swiftly to align formulations with this latest sensory trend by using particular components and scientific understanding to change the texture of a cosmetic product that stands out in the market.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Advances in petfood: Texture analysis in research

The soaring demand for protein poses a real challenge, because current available supplies just can't keep up. This gap between protein supply and demand is expected to continue to expand as the world population reaches 9 billion people by the year 2050 (and as global pet ownership also increases).

From alligator, kangaroo, buffalo and brushtail possum in dog and cat treats petfood companies have cleverly catered to growing consumer demand for ever more exotic and novel sources of protein. Just as people are seeking to try new types, and increase the levels, of protein in the foods they eat, they are doing the same for their pets' foods, thanks to ongoing humanisation.