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

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. 

If the substance is too dense, consumers will experience difficulty extracting it; if it is too fluid, the product could leak. Assuming the orifice size remains constant, the force to squeeze the packaging depends largely on the consistency of the e.g. paste/cream.

To attempt to mimic this situation a forward extrusion test can be employed. The Forward Extrusion Cell measures the compression force required for a piston disc to extrude a product through a standard size outlet in the base of the sample container. The base of the container accommodates a disc containing a central hole (termed the annulus) of varying diameter (3, 5, 7 or 10mm), depending upon the consistency of the sample. The tightly fitting plunger which acts almost like a piston compresses the sample and causes forward flow through the annulus of the disc.

Forward Extrusion Cell
Forward Extrusion Cell

Curves produced from 2 types of soup paste tested in 50% full forward extrusion containers at 5°C
Curves produced from 2 types of soup paste tested
in 50% full forward extrusion containers at 5°C

Products suitable for this type of test include pastes and viscous liquids without the presence of particulates. The graph above shows typical results from the comparison of two types of soup paste tested using a Forward Extrusion Cell.

Request our article The Thick (and Thin) of it which looks at the texture analysis of semisolid products.

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!

To discuss your specific test requirements, click here...

Watch our video about texture analysis Replicating Consumer Preferences
 Texture Analysis applications

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