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

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.

Quality control methods, which are often subjective in noodle production, are increasingly implemented with objective test equipment to monitor the production of consistent, high standards of noodles. Stable Micro Systems has developed objective tests for evaluating texture of both cooked and uncooked noodles, demonstrating how Quality Assurance (QA) depends not only on ingredient quality, but also on other variables such as processing methods. Stable Micro Systems provides probes and fixtures for these objective tests, which have shown good potential for use as research and QA methods.

To measure noodle texture, tests designed for use in near-line production include break strength, flexure, tensile strength, firmness and stickiness, carried out on the TA.XTplus texture analyser (in conjunction with Exponent software), developed for use as a practical, fast and cost effective quality control device.


Noodles exist as fresh or dried, formed in a bar, round cake or strands and can be thin or thick, flat or round, straight or wavy. This wide variety of noodles are a result of differences in culture, climate and region. The noodles are made from various flours such as wheat, rice, potato, soybean and mung bean and may or may not include eggs resulting in a wide variety of colours and textures. Starch characteristics, protein content and quality play major roles in governing the texture of cooked noodles. 

In their dried form they possess a high degree of brittleness which can present a problem of breakage during packaging and transit which the consumer would deem unacceptable Depending on their ingredients, thickness and format they will require cooking for differing amounts of time. Depending upon the type there are differing expectations of firmness and other sensory properties such as chewiness and stickiness can be either acceptable or unacceptable. 

Starch pasting quality is the primary trait determining the eating quality of Japanese and Korean noodles that are characterized by soft and elastic texture, while protein quantity and strength are very important to Chinese-type noodles that require firm bite and chewy texture. Other factors such as ingredients added in the noodle formula and processing variables used during noodle preparation also affect the cooked noodle texture.

Instant noodles (or cup noodles) are the portable hot meal that provide speed and convenience that is highly desirable in today’s society, everywhere in the world. Annual global sales exceed 100 billion servings due to the fact that as a source of food energy they are a popular and economical choice with a wide range of flavouring options.

Whatever the noodle type, noodle texture ranks as one of the top factors that affect consumer purchase – so let’s measure and control it!

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 testing of pasta productsDownload a published article covering methods for the testing of pasta products

Browse our range of pasta and noodle testing solutions

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