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

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Substituting your Meat at mealtimes: Part 6: Paté and pastes – texture comparison

Cylinder probe - pate testPaté & Pastes: Measuring Paté Firmness
More and more often paté is being eaten as a snack spread onto toast, bread or crackers. It is usually made by pre-cooking liver and other meats, mixing them with other ingredients, seasoning and then filling into moulds or casings. 

There are many variations as a result of using different ingredients and nowadays low fat paté is also an option. There are of course vegetarian alternatives which, more often than not, contain vegetables rather than a meat substitute.

A penetration test with a Cylinder Probe (see Figure 9) could well be considered the most simple of all tests for the assessment of firmness and several tests can be performed within the same sample. As the size of the probe surface area is constant this often means that the sample size does not need to be carefully controlled unlike compression testing.

Figure 10a shows typical texture analysis curves comparing a penetration test on two samples of commercially available paté: one sample is a duck liver pate whilst the other is vegetarian. The sample was positioned directly underneath a 10mm cylinder probe and a penetration test was then performed. The results (see Table 10b) indicate that the duck liver paté requires a larger force to penetrate and it therefore has a firmer consistency than its vegetarian counterpart. The duck liver paté is also shown to be more homogeneous which is reflected in the considerably lower variation in results.

Penetration test graph - pate

Penetration test table - pate


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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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