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

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.

Starches, gums and emulsifiers play specific roles in developing and enhancing textures of all sorts – crunchy, crispy, chewy, gummy, thick and creamy. Alongside the textural contribution they also serve to, for example, help food survive the rigours of processing, transport, and storage by creating structure, reducing syneresis, suspending ingredients in solution, and preventing foods from drying out.

A good understanding of how these ingredients work and their effect on product texture can provide an untapped opportunity to diversify consumer appeal of your traditional products. Whilst a slight change in texture could be a disaster to your product identity, the correct modification to a product could make it appealing to a different consumer dynamic. Take a kid’s chocolate milk product, for example increase the mouth coating, decrease the in-mouth clearing and add a more indulgent flavour profile and you’ve created a dessert alternative for adults.

Textures that are indulgent, crunchy, chewy and layered are among the overarching global texture trends. Preferences do, however, differ wildly from one market or country to another. There are certainly types of cuisine and sensory experiences that provide a foreign texture. Depending on where you are in the world, the texture of a particular product might have a completely different viscosity, firmness, heaviness etc.

Texture is perceived with all of our senses. You can often tell if a product is dry, moist, tender, etc. just by looking at it. How a product sounds also plays a role in texture perception. Most important, though, is that whatever texture experience food manufacturers create, it has to remain consistent over shelf life. Making simple changes to product texture can be more impactful than you think. That’s why you’ll need to measure it as you develop.  

A Texture Analyser could be your new employee – ready to measure and analyse your new textural creations.

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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