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

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Substituting your Meat at mealtimes: Part 5: Chicken tenderness – texture comparison

Kramer Shear Cell test - chicken piecesChicken Tenderness: Multiple Shearing

Empirical methods of assessing texture are often challenged by lack of homogeneity or uniformity in samples. 

Heterogeneous systems, such as unprocessed meat products can have structural elements that can vary considerably for the same overall chemical composition. Sometimes the sample to be analysed may be of variable configuration or structure from piece to piece such as for chicken strips. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Substituting your Meat at mealtimes: Part 4: Sausage shearing – texture comparison

Warner-Bratzler blade test on sausages
Reformed Products:
Sausage Shearing using Warner-Bratzler
For the testing of circular samples, the Warner-Bratzler Blade (as shown in Figure 4) is recommended, as it provides a larger cutting surface around the product at the start of the test by means of its triangular notch in the middle of the blade. 

With a slotted base insert, the knife is able to cut through the entire sausage providing a crude method with little sample preparation which lends itself ideally to quick quality determination. It is the most common biting or shearing system for the assessment of meat and meat products. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Substituting your Meat at mealtimes: Part 2: Texture Measurement of Meat and non-Meat Products

MeatballsAs whole tissue, meat is a natural product that possesses inherent variability due to many factors. As a sample for testing this can present a common problem to assess the texture repeatably. 

Processed meats are of three general types: deli-styles (for example turkey, bologna), that are sliced; formed meats (meat balls, meat patties, chicken patties, chicken nuggets); and sausage-style meats, which are usually tubular shaped. Processed meats are often investigated to assess, for instance, ideal combinations of ingredients, evaluate contribution of processing methods/times and highlight quality inconsistencies. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Substituting your Meat at mealtimes: Part 1: Introduction

Vegetable burgerA health or environmental choice?

Across the country, people are choosing to eat less meat for the health of their bodies and the planet, whether for one meatless day per week or a lifetime. 

The ‘fake meat’ business has been around for decades, but it has not quite taken off due to price or down to visual, textural or flavour failure. However, the meat-fakers say they are on the verge of a breakthrough, that there is a real possibility that a new era of fake meat – nutritious, cheap and indistinguishable from the real thing, made either of synthesised animal tissue or derived from plant material – may be upon us.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Using Texture Analysis in the Competitive world of Haircare development

Human hair and skin become soiled due to its contact with the surrounding environment and from the sebum secreted by the scalp. 

The soiling of hair and skin causes it to have a dirty feel and an unattractive appearance.  Shampooing cleans the hair by removing excess soil and sebum. However, shampooing can leave the hair in a wet, tangled, and generally unmanageable state. Once the hair dries, it is often left in a dry, rough, lustreless, or frizzy condition due to removal of the hair's natural oils. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The Battle of the Confectioners in the Development of Chocolate

Biting a chocolate
Chocolate continues to be the world’s favourite confection bringing to mind images of comfort, indulgence and taste. 

With a successful product comes tough competition between the major players in the confectionery world to make new advances in product development. Pushing the development envelope to create new novel versions of such a product requires the tools to assess and compare the effects of new processes and ingredients. This is where texture analysis becomes a manufacturer’s best friend.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Investigating the Full Picture of Adhesive Testing

Opening adhesive tubeThe development of Texture Analysers has opened up a wealth of opportunities for adhesive testing and analysis. 

Most recently the ability to replay, freeze-frame and share your product testing data using a Video Capture and Synchronisation System has been introduced. This is a fantastic tool for teaching others about the nature of your product and for those new to the field or, more importantly, to help you gain a frame-by-frame understanding of your product failure.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Lifting the lid on food and drink packaging tests

Opening drink canA new rig has been developed to allow manufacturers of food tins and beverage cans to measure the force needed to lift the ring pull and open the container. 

This new development could signal the end of consumer frustration with trying to open metal packaging that is too stiff, or where the ring pull detaches from the lid. 

Understanding and quantifying the force needed to use a ring pull is vital for both packaging manufacturers and their customers to ensure safety, functionality and consumer experience. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Substituting your Meat at mealtimes: Part 3: Battle of the burgers – texture comparison

Eating a burger
Perhaps the easiest of meat products to recreate is the burger or “pattie” as it can take a combination of ingredients in bulk and form a structural mass that attempts to mimic a burger with dense mouthfeel. 

The use of quinoa, brown rice, bulgur and vegetables can be successfully combined as a fibre-rich patty with the texture of a meat burger.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Predicting Consumer Juiciness Ratings of Meat

Cutting raw meat
Texture is the most important sensory trait when evaluating meat products. 

According to researchers at the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada: “The four important factors that determine meat tenderness are background toughness (determined antemortem), the toughening phase during rigor onset, the tenderisation phase (during the postmortem aging period), and the denaturation/solubilisation of proteins during cooking. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Periodic Table of Probes and Fixtures for Texture Analysis

Periodic table of probes and fixtures
Creating families, grouping by common properties: if Mendeleev managed to do it for the elements, then why not collate the range of Stable Micro Systems products into the instantly recognisable form of a periodic table?

Here you will see how all the currently available probes and fixtures that can be attached to a Texture Analyser can be grouped by test principle: Cutting & Shearing, Puncture & Penetration, Friction, Extrusion, Tension, Peel & Adhesion, Compression – plus Special Attachments and Accessories

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Texture Analysis of Pizza

Pizza test
Are you interested in the texture of pizza? 

Clearly, the optimum extensibility of the dough and the desirable 'stretch' of the cheese are essential aspects of creating a great result for the consumer. The meat texture must also be suitable for this particular application.

But for quantity production there are also important checks that need to be made to ensure trouble-free processing, such as the ease of grating of the cheese and assessment of consistency of the pizza sauce.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Texturisers – Creating Amazing First Impressions for Food Products

Texture has always been an important consideration during product development. It often determines a consumer’s first impression and thereby offers a lasting impression to the eating experience.

However, more than ever we are seeing a huge increase in the interest and attention being given to texture during product development. Innova Market Insights has reported a significant increase in front-of-package texture claims and the addition of creative language to communicate the texture message. Ingredients also appear to be advancing to, for example, improve the crunchiness of chips, the chewiness of soft candies, the creaminess of sour cream, and much more, allowing for the formulation of a myriad of products that consumers crave.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Noodle quality testing: a range of texture analysis methods for a wide variety of noodle types – Part 6


Not only are the texture and physical appearance of noodle products crucial for achieving aesthetic appeal and optimal functionality – other factors concerning their look and feel can dictate their popularity. 

The packaging of a product can have a profound influence over purchasing decisions. Catchy names and bright colours are part of the attraction but packaging that performs the essential preservation function and is easy to use is also a key persuasion.

Regardless of product density, several texture analysis examinations can aid manufacturers in producing the best packaging to suit the noodle product in question. Available in cartons and packs, it is essential that the correct packaging format is chosen in order for consumers to make complete and convenient use of their noodle products.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Noodle quality testing: a range of texture analysis methods for a wide variety of noodle types – Part 5


Spaghetti/Noodle Tensile Rig
Tensile testing of Cooked Noodles

Suitable for: Only straight cooked noodles that are not thin and fragile to handle as single strands

Another test on cooked noodles uses a Spaghetti/Noodle Tensile Rig (right) which performs tension tests on samples to assess elasticity and breaking strength in tension see the example graph and table  which compare tensile properties of three noodle types (cooked to manufacturers' recommended times). These properties give another indication as to how a sample holds together upon cooking or when transported, for instance, within a ready meal.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Noodle quality testing: a range of texture analysis methods for a wide variety of noodle types – Part 4


Cooked Noodle Firmness Determination – Noodles tested in bulk
Suitable for: All cooked noodle types, particularly those of irregular shape and dimensions (e.g.wavy, those that will not lie flat to be tested) and thin/fragile samples that are difficult to handle as separate strands, for example: Arrowroot Vermicelli, Cellophane , Chinese wheat noodles, Chuka Soba, Dang Myun,  E-fu, Instant Noodles, Miswa, Ramen, Rice Macaroni, Rice Noodles, Rice Vermicelli, Saimin, Shirataki, Taiwanese, Wonton 

Single blade tests generally do not work well for short goods or for those noodle types that are difficult to lie straight. In this situation a multiple shear test using many cutting blades, e.g. a Kramer Shear Cell, is in most cases more applicable for the testing of a non-uniform sample or one with variable geometry.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Noodle quality testing: a range of texture analysis methods for a wide variety of noodle types – Part 3


It is generally accepted that the main criterion for assessing overall quality of cooked noodles is based on evaluation of texture. 

Noodle texture can vary greatly from hard bite to soft bite depending upon the noodle type. In general, Udon noodles are usually softer and more elastic whilst other noodles are harder and chewier in bite. Taste panels can be used to estimate texture/noodle cooking quality, but they are time-consuming and impractical when sample size is limited or large numbers of samples are to be evaluated.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Noodle quality testing: a range of texture analysis methods for a wide variety of noodle types – Part 2


Breaking strength gives a measure of the strength of the dry noodle block/cake. This determines how well the product tolerates shipping and may indicate how well a product holds together upon cooking.

Processing conditions can have a huge effect on breaking strength quality. Breaking strength has seldom been used to date in published literature to predict the cooking quality of noodles, but it may be useful as a QA procedure for the noodle industry, as the measurement can be done more rapidly than a cook test, and it can be used as a near-line procedure.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Noodle quality testing: a range of texture analysis methods for a wide variety of noodle types – Part 1


The world is getting smaller: widespread migration, increased travel and trade have taken a wide variety of foods across country and continent boundaries with some, such as noodles, gaining increasing acceptability outside their native lands.

Oriental noodles have been consumed for thousands of years and remain an important aspect in the diet of many Asians. Eaten hot and cold, noodles are used in soups, salads, stir fries and recipe dishes. They are manufactured in many shapes, widths and lengths. Whilst many are available worldwide in fresh and dried form, others noodle types are only found in Asian markets.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Texture in Cosmetics – Texturity™?

Powder girlIn view of the growing cosmetic product offering, consumers risk being overwhelmed, leaving brands having to do even more to stand out and engage them. 

While there has been a lot of focus over the decades on aroma there has been far less concentration on touch, textures and sounds; and while textures and touch are crucial to the user experience, they don’t feature as prominently.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Measuring Powder Flow – Garden Products & Animal Feed

Now you can avoid sowing the seeds of a production or packaging delay.It has been estimated that powders account for 50% of materials used in industry. 

Handling and processing powders, particulates and granules is central in product processing, but has traditionally been fraught with problems due to their unpredictable and irregular behaviour, specifically with respect to flowability. With so many raw materials and semi-finished products in powder form, this sector stands to gain significant manufacturing and commercial benefits from improvements in the assessment of powder flow. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Employing Texture Analysis in your Sports Nutrition Products

Sports Nutrition has undergone an incredible decade of development and growth exceeding double percentage digits. 

Nutritional bars are the fastest-growing market, but there has been a widening of the sports and nutrition category. Consumers in this category have changed from mostly hard-core athletes, to include more mainstream health-focused consumers who represent the major growth drivers for this global market. Developed regions such as the United States and some European countries have been the dominant market players, but the demand in developing countries is expected to increase with the current growing interest for health-related products. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Texture Analysis of Novel Confectionery

Pillowy fondants, sticky caramels and gooey chocolate - their texture doesn't need to be a mystery! 

From fairytales and films to cordon bleu gastronomy and industrial food production, confectionery is found at the heart of Western culture.

This love of all things sweet has not been overlooked by the commercial confectionery industry, which manufactures millions of tonnes each year. Meeting market demand, however, isn’t easy. Today’s consumers want it all, demanding products that deliver on taste and texture alike to enhance their eating experience.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Measuring Powder Flow – Food Ingredients

Your production relies heavily on the smooth movement of all the ingredients.The Powder Flow Analyser is an instrument welcomed by all sectors of the food industry, as it allows accurate and objective testing of ingredients, blends and finished products, as diverse as lecithins, flours, coffee granules, sugar, spices, pulses, herbs and milk powder.  

It will help manufacturers to avoid typical problems such as batch and source variation of ingredients, caking during storage, bridging in hoppers and sticking during production.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Novel Oral Dosage Forms : Granules, Sprays & Sachets

Orally disintegrating granules (ODG) score highly in regard to ‘opening the packaging’ and ‘integration into everyday routine’.

They are already available for allergy and pain relief. In addition to those ODGs suitable for adults, singular paediatric 4mg granules are suitable for children aged 6 months to 5 years. The granules can either be given directly into a child's mouth, or mixed with a spoonful of cold or room-temperature soft food (eg apple sauce, ice cream, carrots or rice). They can be taken either with or without food, increasing their popularity from those looking for easy administration.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Novel Oral Dosage Forms : Capsules


Liquid-fill formulation is one of the fastest growing sectors of the drug delivery market, increasing at a rate of 30% per annum. 

This is due to the number of highly potent chemical and biological drugs moving through development pipelines today – particularly for cancer treatments – but in fact, encapsulated products, such as fish oils, have long been popular as vitamin, health and performance supplements. 

Unlike many other forms, capsules mask taste and odour and allow for quick speed-to-market, yet they require less excipient. Their versatility allows for a multiplicity of branding options in terms of colour, size and printing/graphics. And of course, they are smooth, easy-to-swallow and are suitable for almost any dosage strength.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Periodic Table of Texture Analysis Probes & Fixtures

Creating families, grouping by common properties: if Mendeleev managed to do it for the elements, then why not collate the range of Stable Micro Systems products into the instantly recognisable form of a periodic table?

Here you will see how all the currently available probes and fixtures that can be attached to a Texture Analyser can be grouped by test principle: Cutting & Shearing, Puncture & Penetration, Friction, Extrusion, Tension, Peel & Adhesion, Compression – plus Special Attachments and Accessories

Novel Oral Dosage Forms : Pastilles/Lozenges


While altering oral tablets to create formulations suitable for children has long been a part of paediatric healthcare, it is clearly a less than ideal option. 

Pastilles/Lozenges represent oral medical preparations consisting of sugar and gum that have solidified and are meant to be consumed by light chewing and allowing them to dissolve in the mouth. This makes them a popular choice for children, as they are easy to ingest and integrate into daily routines. In addition, they are simple to formulate, with interesting flavours, and their texture is more appealing to this age category for trouble-free administration. They are usually used to medicate the mouth and throat and for the slow administration of vitamins, indigestion or cough remedies. 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Novel Oral Dosage Forms : Films


Thin-film drug delivery has emerged as an advanced alternative to the traditional tablets, capsules and liquids often associated with prescription and OTC medications. 

Similar in size, shape and thickness to a postage stamp, thin-film strips are typically prepared using hydrophilic polymers for oral administration, with the user placing the strip on or under the tongue or along the inside of the cheek where saliva serves to rapidly dissolve the dosage form. 

This drug delivery option also allows the medication to bypass the first pass metabolism, thereby giving the medication significantly more bioavailability than conventional tablet dosage forms. Films alleviate the danger/fear of choking, are easy to handle and administer, have a pleasant mouthfeel and taste and are straightforward to manufacture. They offer the combined advantages of ease and convenience of dosing in the absence of water, anytime, anywhere.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Novel Oral Dosage Forms : Fast-Disintegrating Tablets


Coming up with novel ways to deliver drugs is key to maintaining profitability.
One approach is to use technologies such as mouth-dissolving tablets or wafers, also known as fast melt, fast dissolving or orodispersible. 

The demand for solid dosage forms that can be dissolved/suspended in water, chewed or rapidly dissolved in the mouth is particularly strong in the paediatric and geriatric markets, with further application to other patients who prefer the convenience of a readily administered dosage form. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Novel Oral Dosage Forms : Introduction and the Requirement for Quality

Testing the alternatives to traditional tablet-form medications
Oral drug delivery represents the largest share of the pharmaceutical market, accounting for approximately 90% of all medicines prescribed.

The oral route remains the perfect one for the administration of therapeutic agents, due to the general simplicity and cost-effectiveness of the therapy, the accuracy of dosing, the avoidance of pain and the ability to self-medicate. Whilst it is considered the most traditional and easiest route of delivery, it is – perhaps surprisingly – not always the most user-friendly, for a number of reasons.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

People and Pets go more gourmet...

With four out of five pet owners considering their pet a member of the family and 79% saying the quality of their pet’s food is as important as their own, it’s not surprising that the premium sector accounts for 40% of the $26 billion US pet food market (whilst super-premium accounted for 10%). Globally the pet care products market is worth almost $100 billion.

Adding excitement to a pet’s diet via flavours, gravies, look-a-like human recipes, daypart foods (e.g. breakfast food/eggs or appetisers) is a top driver of the best-selling new pet foods. Pet foods are also touting more exotic meats (e.g. wild game, boar, venison, pheasant) and fillets of fish. The majority of “pet parents” are looking for “all natural” and “real meat” whilst eliminating grains, gluten, hormones/antibiotics and artificial colours are other significant trends along with the requirement for “human grade” and “indoor formulations are fast-growing market niches.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Global Food Texture Market 2015-2019

Texture plays a critical role in the satisfaction and acceptability of food products. Food texture is used for enhancing the flavour and appearance of texture-modified foods and in improving the acceptability and enjoyment level of said food products.

The analysts forecast the global food texture market to grow at a CAGR of 5.06% by revenue over the period 2014-2019.

The report, The Global Food Texture Market 2015-2019, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from various industry experts. The report includes a comprehensive discussion on the market, an extensive coverage on various types of production techniques, applications and demand-supply dynamics in various geographies. The report provides comments on both the existing market landscape and its growth prospects over the forecast period. The report further includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Texture Analysis in Sports Nutrition – Fuellling workouts with powdered energy drinks

‘Thirst Quencher’, ‘Rapid Bulk Gain’, ‘Performance Recovery Formula’, ‘Weight Loss’ or ‘Muscle Repair’ – all versions of powdered drink options in the field of sports nutrition that are formulated depending on the functionality and nutritional requirements of the consumer. 

Designed to be scooped out from a large container, these formulations will have varying compositions that will affect how the powder will behave during transit and storage. Changes in fat content, particle sizing and humidity are just a few factors that can affect not only the powder behaviour during processing but also the physical characteristics during use.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Texture Analysis in Sports Nutrition – Fuelling workouts with energy bars

Energy bars are popular, delicious snacks and substitute meals for exercise lovers and sports participants. 

They are often supplemental bars containing cereals and other high energy foods targeted at people that require quick energy but do not have time for a meal. Living faster means an increased need for on-the-go energy and in-between meal snacks. 

The increase in obesity has also lead to a growing interest in ‘satiating’ meal replacement bars.  Both pleasure and health are strong drivers of this snackification trend. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Texture Analysis in Sports Nutrition – Capsules offer an innovative dosage form

At one time, “sports nutrition” might have conjured up images of body-builders and professional athletes, but today’s market has spread way beyond the weightlifting gyms and sports leagues and into urban area and shopping centres worldwide. 

This opens up nearly unlimited opportunities that manufacturers and marketers can exploit. 

While sports nutrition continues to be dominated by bulkier products such as powders, functional food and beverages (e.g. sports drinks/RTD), companies should keep in mind the strong consumer preference for capsules when considering the dosage form for a new or existing sports nutrition product.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Texture Analysis in Sports Nutrition – Maximising workouts with flavoured energy gels

It wasn’t long ago that runners and cyclists relied solely on water and isotonic drinks as their primary carbohydrate supplement during longer races.

Now our understanding of sports nutrition has improved to the point that we have a myriad of products to choose from, each designed to speed glycogen to the working muscles. 

Energy gels are the latest favourite source of carbohydrate for endurance events that provide energy for exercise and promote recovery. They come in small, single-serve plastic packets with a notch at the top, which can be peeled back to reveal an opening through which the gel can be quickly consumed. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Texture Analysis in Sports Nutrition – Introduction

Sports Nutrition has undergone an incredible decade of development and growth exceeding double percentage digits.  
Nutritional bars are the fastest-growing market, but there has been a widening of the sports and nutrition category. Consumers in this category have changed from mostly hard-core athletes, to include more mainstream health-focused consumers who represent the major growth drivers for this global market. 

Developed regions such as the United States and some European countries have been the dominant market players, but the demand in developing countries is expected to increase with the current growing interest for health-related products. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Measuring Powder Flow – Salt & Seasonings

Your seasoning need not become stuck at any point in the process.
Predictable powder flow enables constituent selection, manufacturing procedures and equipment to be optimised. 

This in turn maximises speed of production, reduces the risk of stoppages and improves blend quality, filling procedures and end product quality.

In this video we show examples of the difference in flowability of such products as spices and salt (course, table and flaked) and the tool for the measurement of their flow properties.     

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Measuring Sauce Texture: Dispensing from Actuated Product Containers

Actuation Force test
Actuation Force test
Actuation Force Testing allows measurement of the force required to, for example, release mustard, ketchup or salad dressing  from dispensers, such as is found in fast food restaurants. 

Manually-actuated spray pump dispensers or finger pumps rely on the consumer to generate a hydraulic pressure in the pumping engine in order to dispense the fluid. 

Dispenser designs may change or vary or the every-increasing market for child friendly products may require adaptations.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

New popcorn texture measurement for booming snack sector

Popcorn is literally an exploding sector of the snack food market providing a new more healthy indulgence option that is less of a guilty pleasure. 

In contrast to the well-known sweet toffee version, we are now seeing the introduction of a myriad of flavouring choices which is injecting the element of excitement and fun into the market. 

Consumers’ growing interest in ethnic and exotic flavours has influenced brands to develop new, innovative and interesting flavours such as maple sea salt, green apple caramel, sour cream and onion, fruit chutney, pulled pork. 

The range of flavour offerings changes from country to country according to national preferences and maturity of markets.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Measuring Sauce Texture: Sachet/Tube Content Removal

The sauce market is diverse and the number of types of sauces is growing, whilst the product definitions are blurring between countries. 

Over the past years the more traditional table sauces have developed with new flavours and different packaging, and can now be seen being used as dips and marinades – a far cry from the conservative character these products had in the past.

A large proportion of condiments  and gravy stocks are now being produced in sachet or tube portions for quick and easy use, as well as to facilitate long-term storage. For products in tubes, the ability to squeeze the product out effectively is essential and is fundamental to its ease of removal from the packaging when required.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Measuring Sauce Texture: Extrudability

One of the most recent interesting innovations in the soups market was the launch of a range of Squeeze and Stir cup soups, made from concentrated purée rather than powder. These are designed to be squeezed into a cup and mixed with boiling water.

Extrudability is the work required to push or force out (or expel) a product. For products in tubes, such as syrups and icings, removal of the contents relies upon the consumer squeezing the packaging to extrude the product.

The ability to squeeze the product out effectively is essential and the consistency of the contents of a tube or sachet is therefore fundamental to its ease of removal from the packaging when required. 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Measuring Sauce Texture: Stickiness, Tailing & Stringiness

Tailing of sauce
There are differences between types of sauces; tomato ketchup has a short character, whilst Asian sauces, like chilli sauce, tend to be more long in character. This textural difference is also highlighted in spoon coating and tailing when deposited.

In some foods, cohesive and adhesive properties greatly influence the performance of food before consumption, and the perception of texture in the mouth. Stickiness is commonly viewed as a negative food attribute, but in certain foods (like sweet sauces and syrups), a level of stickiness is not only tolerable but desirable. In semisolids, the stickiness is caused by sugars, fats, gums, starches or mixes of these ingredients.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Measuring Sauce Texture: Consistency and Cohesiveness

Back Extrusion test
Back extrusion test for assessment of consistency
TESTING HOMOGENEOUS SEMI-SOLIDS: e.g. syrups, caramel, thick gravies, table sauces, ready meal sauces.

There is now diversity and new opportunities in formulating “table sauces”, both sweet and savoury, with a wide variety of flavours, rheological and textural properties which can be obtained or modified using different types and concentration of ingredients.

By controlling formulation and processing, a wide range of physical properties can be produced. In describing the consistency of foods, terms like “mouthfeel”, “body” and “stringiness” can all be understood and require a method for measurement.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

It’s all in the Sauce – Measuring Mouthfeel

Sauces are the culinary workhorse of the food world. They add colour, a concentrated burst of complementary or contrasting flavour, and texture to everything from salads and pasta to meat and fish. 

Savoury or sweet, hot or cold, thin or thick, a topping or a mix-in, sauces have crossed cultural borders and are part of virtually all major cuisines. And sauces and soup products are flying off store shelves as consumers look for ways to enhance recipes. 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Texture Is Trending

Back in 2014 Elizabeth Sloan at Sloan Trends Inc postulated that ‘Texture’ was the next megatrend in food and beverage product development.  

An article in Food Product Design magazine
stated that “Foods and beverages without texture are boring, especially to consumers who are becoming more adventuresome and expanding their horizons in the culinary world. 

"Consumers are taking time to not only enjoy their meals, but to savour each and every bite that a particular product has to offer, focusing on the flavours and textures alike.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Measuring Powder Flow – Pharmaceutical Powders

Powder that doesn't flow properly could give you a severe headache.
Powder flow analysis is extremely valuable in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as in many others.
Objective and repeatable testing combined with ranking of dry powder samples can provide significant opportunities and benefits. These include optimising batch and source selection in terms of cost and quality; the development of best mix formulations; optimising scaling up and process conditions; and maintaining product quality control. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Keeping Breakfast Cereals Crispy

Girl eating a bowl of cereal
Snacking is now an integral part of North American and British culture and is becoming an increasingly apparent trend in many other international markets. 

In Germany, where cereals face stiff competition from traditional breakfast foods, the emphasis is shifting towards the promotion of cereals as a quick pick-me-up, as meals become lighter and less stodgy. In the Mediterranean countries of Spain, Italy and France, where a late evening meal is the cultural norm, cereals are being promoted as a substantial after-school snack for children.

In this competitive market, companies are battling for market share and constantly looking at new product introductions and improvements to traditional favourites. New product introductions may target specific segments of consumers – young and old – or ride on current trends, whether its health consciousness, the latest action figure or some other ingredient or formulation improvement that will gain interest by its promotion.