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

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Texture Analysis in action: the Spaghetti Flexure Rig

Spaghetti flexure test using the TA.XTplus Texture AnalyserThe SPAGHETTI FLEXURE RIG (A/SFR) measures the compression and flexure characteristics of uncooked spaghetti, which are of interest when investigating any possible inherent weakness due to sprout damage of the durum wheat, or to incorrect drying procedures.

The test sample is located between upper and lower supports in centrally located holes. The upper support is directly connected to the loadcell and the lower support to the base of the texture analyser. Test samples of 100mm are prepared and the average force and distance to break is measured. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Developing stable chocolate products for high temperature environments

Chocolate squares on spoon
Nestlé has followed in the footsteps of Mondelez and developed its own non-melting (or temperature tolerant) chocolate especially suited to emerging markets with hot climates.

Conventionally manufactured chocolate consists of sugars, cocoa solids and protein (usually from milk) homogeneously dispersed in fats and fatty substances originating from cocoa butter. Chocolate analogues contain other vegetable fats in partial/total replacement of the cocoa butter fat. Often the continuous fat phase also contains dairy fat.

Cocoa butter typically starts to soften at about 28°C, with consequent loss of the mechanical strength of the chocolate. This means that at the high ambient temperatures frequently encountered in tropical countries, chocolate becomes sticky or even runny. It tends to stick to the wrapper and fall apart when the wrapper is removed, leaving a semi-liquid mass that can often only be eaten with a spoon if cleanliness is desired.