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

Monday, 13 April 2020

Texture Analysis in Research: Insects as Food

Cricket powderWith 9.6 billion people forecast to inhabit the planet in 2050, scientists have warned that population growth could lead to an unsustainable increase in food production if consumption patterns persist. 

Considering the rising world population and the scarce water and land resources, it is extremely important to find new and sustainable ways to produce food. Edible insects are particularly interesting due to their high protein content and lower environmental impacts compared to traditional livestock. They have been promoted as a source of nutrients able to contribute to the increasing need of animal protein in an environmentally sustainable fashion. In general, insects contain a considerable amount of protein with a well-balanced amino acid spectrum, a high amount of lipid, and a noteworthy content of micronutrients such as copper, zinc, and iron.

Researchers from Wageningen University & Research have been performing an investigation toward the design of an insect-based meat analogue, specifically the role of calcium and temperature in the coagulation behaviour of Alphitobius diaperinus proteins. This study focused on the coagulation behaviour of protein from larvae of Alphitobius diaperinus. The effect of incremental CaCl2 concentration and temperature on physical-chemical properties of insect coagula was investigated. The textural properties of the coagulum were measured in compression using a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser. The results of this study provide important information for the product development of insect protein-based meat analogues. Read more

Typical test on a muffin
Typical test on a muffin
In the bakery industry, muffins are one of the most popular high-calorie snack products consumed worldwide. As a response to growing consumer interest in healthy nutrition, the food industry is increasingly focused on designing foods with reduced sugar content. Insects can be used as a matrix for the introduction of various nutrients, such as protein and antioxidants. The use of protein enrichment, on the one hand, reduces the sugar content of the product, but, on the other hand, it may also have a significant impact on its textural properties.

Cricket powder may be used as a protein-rich additive. Researchers from PoznaƄ University of Life Sciences have been investigating the effects of the replacement of wheat flour with cricket powder on the characteristics of muffins. They used their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to perform texture profile analysis on the muffin samples. Slight changes to colour and textural properties were found after the addition of cricket powder. However, it was found to be suitable for use in the enrichment of muffins with protein without reducing the sensory attractiveness of the product obtained. Find out more

Bread firmness test
Bread firmness test
Meanwhile, researchers from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul have been investigating cricket powder (Gryllus assimilis) as a new alternative protein source for gluten-free breads. This study evaluated the use of cricket powder as protein source for the production of gluten-free bread in comparison with two other protein sources: buckwheat and lentil flours. They used their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to perform Texture Profile Analysis on bread slices. Results confirmed that the enrichment with cricket powder can lead to the production of gluten-free bread with acceptable technological properties and high protein content. Find out more

We can design and manufacture probes or fixtures for the TA.XTplusC 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 jarThe
 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 analysisDownload more detailed information about texture analysis in the food industryBrowse our range of texture analysis testing solutions

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