Texture Analysis Professionals Blog

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

Monday, 19 October 2020

Wooing the Senses through Texture

Chefs in kitchen
From the rise in popularity of artisan foods, to growing interest in global cultures and cuisines, consumer desire for culinary stimulation has led to a greater breadth of food ‘experiences’ being developed.

Before a consumer has even started to eat, they have an expectation of what they are about to experience and already some of their senses will have been activated. The crunch and crack from a bag of popcorn or the sight of melted oozing cheese on a freshly baked pizza are typical things that help our senses play a crucial role in how memorable, or not, the food we consume is.

The right texture can take products like French fries, yoghurt and candy-coated nuts from dull to deliciously daring. In short, if a product’s texture is wrong, consumers will notice.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

How Petfood Industry Leaders use Texture Analysis to get ahead of their competition

Specialised dog chew test rig
How Mars measures the textural characteristics of petfood chews and dental products

Dental health is a growing and diverse sector in the pet industry with many new product lines in foods, dental hygiene, toys and accessories, particularly for dogs. Many oral care pet chew products are based on hard textures that require repeated chewing for efficacy. While such products may offer teeth cleaning functions, in many cases they pose risks to dogs either from physical injury such as gum injury, teeth fracture, or blockage of the digestive system.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Texture Analysis & Flowability of Coffee: Instant, Ground and Bean

Coffee pods on ground coffee
Coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. According to Statista, revenue in the coffee market worldwide in 2020 amounts to USD 44.8 billion, and is expected to rise by 5% each year up to 2025.

It reaches the consumer in many different forms, from a creamy latte in a hipster coffee shop to a more basic instant. The three main forms that reach the supermarket shelf, however, are whole beans, ground and instant granules. This blog post covers the Texture Analysis techniques used by manufacturers in search of a perfect brew.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

How Fruit Industry Leaders use Texture Analysis to get ahead of their competition

How the Agricultural Research Institute measures texture at the watermelon harvest

The Agricultural Research Institute in Cyprus installed a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser just in time for the harvest of watermelons for an important trial. Stable Micro Systems were very happy to be able to assist and train the new user ‘on the job’. Texture Analysis was one of several methods used to assess melons of different varieties, root stocks and post-harvest storage times.

A method was developed to accurately quantify the flesh firmness using the Multiple Puncture Probe (A/MPP). The central pins were removed so as to avoid the hard core which gave a mis-representative result. The outer ring of pins was ideally located as they punctured the heart of the melon yet avoided the seeds.

Sample preparation involved cutting the melon in half and removing the blossom end with a sharp knife to provide extra stability.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Testing the integrity of packaging seals - Is Your Seal Satisfactory?

Packaging samples graphic
When a food product is wrapped, the package’s overall integrity, particularly of the seal area, is crucial to avoid contamination and resultant spoilage or safety issues.

The role of a packaging seal varies between products, and the importance of several factors will have different weights depending on its use. Some require excellent mechanical strength or a perfect airtight seal, whereas some must be easy to open.

Monday, 14 September 2020

How Haircare Industry Leaders use Texture Analysis to get ahead of their competition

Three point bend test on hair sample
How Croda measures the physical characteristics of hair

At Croda they use their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to put hair tresses to the test. As an example, the effectiveness of personal care products on the physical characteristics of hair are assessed, with the bending force of a hair bundle used as an indicator of softness. Different types of hair are tested, comparing results before and after the application of various hair treatments.

For the test, the hair samples are divided into two bundles – one to undergo treatments, the second to be used as a control. An average bending force from a cycle of ten three-point-bend tests is calculated for each sample.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Texture Analysis in Research: Its Importance for 3D Printed Foods

3D printer
3D printing is becoming mainstream as a design and manufacture tool in many industries. One of these is the food industry, where innovation is a key marketing strategy; consumers will buy into products that have a new spin on ‘fun’ or ‘healthy’. It is a very useful tool in the food industry, bringing digital design to life through the medium of an edible product and allowing full customisation.

Using this tool, a food product or a whole meal can have its ingredients tailored to meet the needs of a patient in hospital or a care home, leading to a better recovery. 3D printing also has the potential to make life easier for those people who use health trackers. There is a possibility that in the future, the user’s fitness tracker can send data to the 3D printer, which will output a meal perfectly tailored to that person’s requirements.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

How Confectionery Industry Leaders use Texture Analysis to get ahead of their competition

Chewing gum flexibility
• How Wrigleys and Revolymer control chewing gum texture

Wrigley have been using their TA.XTplus for quality control in a range of products for decades now. In addition to new product development and troubleshooting, the effects of formulation changes on chewing gum texture have also be assessed.

Innovative attachments, including forward and back extrusion cells, craft knife blades and tensile grips, are put into action to assess characteristics such as hardness, stickiness and stringiness.
Over the past two centuries, gum manufacturers have embraced materials science to produce a product that has a wide variety of benefits, from cavity protection to enhanced mental concentration.