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

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.

Measuring Powder Flowability
Powder Flow Analysis is extremely valuable in the food 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. 

The Stable Micro Systems Powder Flow Analyser (left) rapidly derives an objective value for the sample that characterises and ranks its performance when subjected to a specific test programme. 

Rotating Stable Micro Systems’ patented blade down and up through the sample achieves Controlled Flow; the design of the blade is the single most important factor in achieving repeatable powder flow measurements. 

This innovative test method enables a wide range of sample flow modes to be achieved as the enhanced blade form provides optimum repeatability and sensitivity in controlling flow, from extremely gentle lifting through to aggressive compaction.

Patented helical blade
Samples’ characteristics are measured, ranked and compared under different test modes. Controlled Flow offers you the ability to test in a manner that is complimentary to a process or need: Exponent software can control the action of the test to be performed and subsequently analyse the data to determine, for example: particle cohesion and flow after compaction; resistance to compression; or batch and source variation, from a range of standard tests such as Powder Flow Speed Dependence, Cohesion and Caking.  

Innovative technology provides such data either by measuring and comparing products capable of flow, or by assessing sample behaviour under test conditions simulating in-process or product handling conditions. Best-practice raw material purchasing, processing efficiency, waste minimisation and product quality – before and after storage, packing and transportation – are all desirable for manufacturers. The application of practical powder rheology will be a valuable tool for achieving these goals.

Being able to measure powder flow is of prime importance to manufacturers, but as quality standards continue to rise, few can afford to stop there. Finished product testing is essential to ensure correct performance and safeguard reputation, sales and market share. 

By using a Powder Flow Analyser attached to a Texture Analyser – rather than a stand-alone alternative – manufacturers are able to change the attachments on the instrument for testing semi-finished and finished products as well. 

This offers considerable financial savings, as well as simplifying training and releasing valuable lab space. 

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!

To discuss your specific test requirements click here...

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

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