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

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Sensory Analysis vs. Texture Analysis

Sensory analysis includes use of the senses of smell, taste, sound and touch.

Evaluation of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic texture by touch includes the use of thefingers, as well as the lips, tongue, palate and teeth in the mouth.

When producing products for consumers, manufacturers endeavour to offer products with a defined uniformly high quality. As would be expected, sensory methods of analysis are subject to wide variability, are labour intensive and therefore expensive. Alongside sensory tests of products by trained tester panels, instrumental measuring methods are used as flanking measures.

Instrumental methods of assessing texture can be carried out under more strictly defined and controlled conditions. Their results correlate to a high degree with the sensory assessment of foods and other products and they frequently require less time and human resource inputs. Problems of experimental variability are also more likely to be caused by sample heterogeneity than by instrumental imprecision.

Another reason for instrumental analysis may be that often changes in ingredient levels cause several simultaneous changes in product characteristics. Some of these changes are difficult to mask and thus tend to make sensory analysis difficult.

DLG in Germany have written an extremely comprehensive expert report entitled 

‘Instrumental sensory testing in the food industry’ 
It provides an overview of the state of the art in the area of mechanical texture analysis of foods with a summary of its history, an explanation of the terms used in the field and a superb explanation as to the possibilities and opportunities.

“Even if humans alone are able to perceive food in its complexity in sensory terms due to the interaction between human senses and the linking of sensory perceptions in the brain, instrumental sensory analyses provides valuable support in certain sub-sectors".  

Supplementing human sensory methods, texture analysers are now used in various areas and provide excellent opportunities for analysing texture and securing/validating human sensory testing results. For instance, the mechanical instruments in the field of texture analysis make is possible to imitate biting and chewing processes or bending behaviour and allow conclusions to be drawn regarding bite behaviour, elasticity and firmness, as well as concerning the viscosity of foods.

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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