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

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. 

The bars are frequently used as an energy source during athletic events like marathon, triathlon and other events and outdoor activities, where energy expenditure is high over a longer period of time. Meal bars are also available in the form of a high protein source, for added strength or as a diet aid for those attempting to lose weight; or, for those having issues of gaining weight, energy bars may be used as an easy method of increasing daily energy intake.

The expectation of a consumer opening a cereal bar is that the bar should present one solid intact piece; a bar that breaks during transit or storage somehow gives an inferior impression of the product and can affect repeat purchase. A Three Point Bend Rig (left) may be used to determine the break strength of cereal bars. The rig measures the force required to snap the sample, showing its hardness. 

Cereal bar manufacturers can also use the five-bladed Kramer Shear Cell (top) to perform a “multiple cutting” test, which gives a measure of bite force that a consumer would experience. The use of multiple blades rather than single blades creates an averaging effect when testing a heterogeneous product such as this.

Request our article Texture Analysis in Sports Nutrition which looks at developments in testing for this growing product sector.

We can design and manufacture probes or fixtures for the TA.XTplus texture analyser that are bespoke to your sample and its specific measurement.

Once your measurement is performed, our expertise in its graphical interpretation is unparalleled. Not only can we develop the most suitable and accurate method for the testing of your sample, but we can also prepare analysis procedures that obtain the desired parameters from your curve and drop them into a spreadsheet or report designed around your requirements.

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!

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Watch our video about texture analysis Replicating Consumer Preferences

 Texture Analysis applications

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