Squishing Peas or Calibration of Tenderometers for the purpose of standardization of pea processing

clam

Testing plain yogurt for cohesiveness & stickiness

TMS Extensibility Fixture on the TMS-Pro texture analyzer

Texture Evaluation of Cream Cheese

Penetration test on an apple using a Cylinder Probe

Penetration test on an apple using a Needle Probe

Penetration test on an apple using a Spherical Probe

Penetration test on an apple using a Conical Probe

3 point bend test on a biscuit

Testing the elasticity of stick chewing gum

Cranberry samples in a shear cell

Cranberry Firmness Testing by Kramer Shear Cell Method

Due to the variation from piece to piece, cranberries are best tested using the Kramer shear cell. Not only does this method typically produce results that are more consistent, but also it requires fewer replications as it is a bulk analysis test.

For the texture analysis, a known amount of sample is placed in the box of the shear cell. As the blades move down to compress and shear through the product, force values are recorded by the software. The peak value and other aspects are recorded.

Using this data, the processors are able to correlate to the quality of the batches to make decisions about further processing for other cranberry products (raw/fresh, dehydrated/dried, juiced).

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Cranberry Bulk Firmness

Baked beans sample

Baked Bean Firmness Testing by Kramer Shear Cell Method

Baked beans are an ideal product to test using the Kramer shear cell. As there is substantial variation when testing single beans, it makes the most sense to test the product in bulk.

This bulk analysis test is done by filling the test cell with a known amount of product. As the blades of the fixture move down, the beans are compressed and sheared. During this action, the software is used to calculates the peak force that occurs during the test cycle. The peak compression directly correlates to the firmness of the beans.

Manufacturers can use this information to better understand how variations in preparation, formulation, and processing parameters can affect the final quality of the product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Baked Bean Firmness

Asparagus firmness texture sample

Asparagus Firmness Testing by Blade Shear Method

Firmness of asparagus is often related to the amount of force that it takes to bite or cut through a single stalk of the product. The fibrous property of the vegetable contributes to this measurement. To test this application using a texture analyzer, a shear test is the most appropriate.

A single stalk is placed on the testing table, and then a lightweight blade is used to cut completely through the sample. As the blade moves down and shears the sample, the software records the force needed to do this. This force directly correlates to the firmness/fibrousness of the sample as perceived by the consumer.

This data is used by the processor to give objective values to a normally subjective measurement, ultimately giving a better understanding of the product and how certain variables can affect quality and important mouthfeel texture.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Asparagus Firmness/Fibrousness Case Study

Apple pentration testing

Apple Firmness Testing by Magness-Taylor Penetration Method

Objective texture testing of fruit is especially helpful when trying to determine the ripeness or freshness.  Information like this makes it simpler for growers to decide the correct moment to harvest in order to present the consumer with the most desirable product.

Then each sample was placed on the lower fulcrums of the fixture. The upper fixture moved and the system measured the force that was needed to break each sample - the firmness equating to freshness.

This information can be used by processors to measure and therefore control the quality of the final product along with monitoring the consistency of the incoming raw ingredients.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Apple Firmness Breeding Trials

Licorice hardness testing by knife shear

Licorice Firmness Testing by Large Knife Shear Method

Where certain confection products fall on the hardness/softness scale can be a key indicator of quality. This is especially true when comparing texture variations of the same product. Due to changes in raw ingredients, formulation and processing methods are often adjusted in order produce a product that has a consistent desirable texture.

The ability to objectively measure how these changes affect the final product is very important. For licorice firmness quality, a shear test was most appropriate. A small sample was placed on the texture analyzer and cut through using the large knife edge fixture. At the conclusion of the test, the software was used to calculate the force needed to cut through each sample.

This force directly correlates with the hardness of the sample and can be used by the processor to maintain a consistent texture for its confectionery.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Licorice Firmness

Chocolate mint break strength testing

Sweetener Effect on Chocolate Mint Break Strength Testing by 3-Point Bend Break Method

Being able to measure how a change in formulation affects the final texture of a product is a critical step in maintaining quality. When low or zero calorie sweeteners are substituted to a produce a recipe marketed as a “healthy” product, it is important that the alternative be as similar to the original option as possible in order to fit the consumers’ expectations.

By using the 3 point bend fixture to compare the texture of a control and a variation, the processor can gain valuable information regarding how the change in formulation affects the final product. The test is done by placing the cookie on the two lower support fulcrums of the fixture as the software moves the upper fulcrum down until it breaks the sample, measuring the peak force.

Ideally, the processor would like the 2 products to break at the same point. This would indicate that they have a similar texture.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Sweetener Effect on Confectionery Break Strength

Candy cane bend and break testing

Candy Cane Break Strength Testing by 3-Point Bend Break Method

The resistance to breaking is a quality component for candy canes and similar hard confectionery. If the product is considered too brittle, then there is a greater chance that it will break or fracture during the shipment process.

The lower part of the 3 three point bend fixture supports the samples while the upper fulcrum moves down to bend and ultimately break the sample. The software then calculates the force needed to snap the candy, which can be correlated to the brittleness of the product.

Manufacturers can use this information to understand how process and formulation variances can affect the quality of the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Candy Cane Break/Snap Testing

Cheese slices samples for firmness testing

Cheese Slice Firmness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

The firmness of cheese is often a primary quality indicator. This is especially true with a processed type of cheese where additional water is added to the product as a texture modifier.

Being able to objectively measure the firmness of the product allows the processors to have a better understanding on how changes in formulation can affect the texture. This test uses a 1 inch cylinder probe fixture to penetrate into a stack of 10 cheese slices.

At the conclusion of the test, the software is used to calculate the peak force that occurs during the test. This directly correlates to the firmness of the product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Cheese Slice Firmness

Sausage balls firmness testing samples

Sausage Ball Bulk Analysis Firmness Testing by Kramer Shear Cell Method

The Kramer Shear Cell is used on a wide range of products, such as reconstituted non-homogeneous foodstuffs.  As sausage balls are a ground meat product, this test method is an excellent way to quality test this meat.

For each test replication, a sample was weighed and then placed into the sample box. The blades move down to both compress and shear through the product. At the end of testing, a variable product is compared to a control product using the peak force (firmness) of the sample.

By performing testing and comparison studies such as this, the processor can accurately correlate how certain processing variables can affect the final texture of the sausage product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Sausage Ball Firmness

Cream cheese firmness testing

Cream Cheese Firmness Testing by Single Point Penetration Method

As with many other foodstuffs, the firmness of cream cheese is a critical quality control point. The firmness of this product is very dependent upon temperature, so care was taken to ensure that all of the test replications were performed at the same temperature.

The test was done by puncturing into the product with a 10mm cylinder to a set distance into the cheese. At the conclusion of the test, the software calculates the peak force that occurs during the penetration. This value can be directly correlated to the firmness of the sample.

Cheese processors can use this information to determine how formulation changes will affect the final product’s quality.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Cream Cheese Firmness

Cottage cheese sample

Cottage Cheese Curd Firmness Testing by Kramer Shear Cell Method

One of the key quality attributes of cottage cheese is the firmness of the curds. Processing companies have determined that different geographic locations prefer varying curd firmness. Because of this, they process based on where the product will ultimately be sold.

Due to the size and shape variations of the individual curd, it makes more sense to test the product as whole. This is in line with how the product is consumed. To test, a given amount of cottage cheese is placed into the sample box. The blades then move down to compress and shear the product.

At the conclusion of the test, the software calculates the peak force that occurs during the test. This objective number directly correlates to the firmness of the sample and can be used by manufacturers to gain a better knowledge of how processing changes can affect the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Cottage Cheese Firmness

Chicken patty firmness testing samples

Chicken Patty Bulk Analysis Firmness Testing by Kramer Shear Cell Method

Ground and reformed meat products are often tested with the Kramer Shear Cell. The shear is ideal because its design allows the fixture to take into account the variation that is inherent in ground reconstituted meat products.

For testing of chicken patties, a template was used to cut the samples, after thawing, to a shape that fits the sample box of the shear cell. During the test, the blades moved down to compress and shear through the product. The resistance created by this is measured by the software controlling the texture analyzer. The software is used to calculate the peak force that occurs during the test, which correlates directly to the firmness of the product.

Firmness can then be associated with several processing factors like the grind of the meat (coarse or fine) and fat content, allowing for quality control decisions to be made with more objective data.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Chicken Patty Firmness

Yeast block firmness testing

Yeast Block Firmness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

For some products, such as yeast blocks, the way a product fractures under stress is key quality trait. This is often referred to as the fracturability of a product. While this is not a trait that can be directly measured, it can be extrapolated by looking at both the firmness of the sample and the work that is done to penetrate the yeast to a certain depth. These values can then be correlated to the traditional sensory data.

The test is performed by puncturing or penetrating a set distance in to the sample and then allowing the software to calculate the two points.

The test is performed by puncturing or penetrating a set distance in to the sample and then allowing the software to calculate the two points.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Yeast Block Firmness

Tortilla tear strength testing

Tortilla Tear Strength Testing by Forward Extrusion Method

For products such as flour or corn tortillas, the resistance to tearing or breaking under stress is very important. These products are generally used to contain other products such as meat, cheese, and sauce while not tearing.

To test this characteristic, a sample is placed in the extensibility fixture. This fixture is designed to hold a flat product in place while a probe punctures through the sample. The force that it takes to puncture through the sample is then correlated to the strength of the sample.

This test methodology provides the producer with an objective quality measurement in relation to the texture of the product. This information can used to predict how the product will behave for consumers.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Tortilla Tear Strength

Pastry dough hardness testing

Pastry Dough Hardness by Cylinder Probe Compression Method

Many products require only a simple penetration test to measure differences in texture. For pastry dough, a small amount of each variant was prepared for testing.

Each test replication involved the probe moving a set distance into the sample and then measuring the resistance force as the representation of product hardness. This result was then compared to the product that was said to have the ideal texture and consistency.

Tests like this give the processor valuable objective data on a characteristic that is often measured in a very subjective manner. Given this better understanding of how certain variables can affect the final product, the processor will be able to better control the quality and final texture of their products.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Brownie Freshness

Pasta bulk analysis testing sample

Pasta Firmness Bulk Analysis Testing by Kramer Shear Method

The Kramer shear cell is one of the widely used methods in the food texture testing. The primary benefit is more consistent and repeatable results due to the increased sample size. It also allows the product to be tested as the sum of its parts instead of on a piece to piece basis.

For this test, a set amount of pasta was placed in the sample box of the shear cell. The blades moved down to compress and shear through the product.  The software then produces a force/distance curve from which the firmness of the product can be calculated.


This objective data can then be used to better understand parameters like how cooking times and raw ingredient variations can affect the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Pasta Firmness Testing

Gel capsule burst test

Gel Capsule Burst/Crush Strength Testing by Compression Platen Method

The resistance to breaking or bursting when under pressure is a key quality point for gel capsules. These products consist of a thin outer layer that contains a gel or liquid on the inside, and are typically a delivery method for medicines.

During processing, it is important for the outer wall to be strong enough to contain the inner product, while still being able to be dissolved quickly once consumed. To test the product, a single gel capsule was placed on the texture analyzer. The sample was then compressed to the point where it failed and ruptured.

The force needed to crush the sample to the point of failure was calculated and recorded. This force can be directly correlated with the strength of the capsules, giving the manufacturer valuable objective information in regards to the quality of their product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Gep capsule burst testing

Flatbread burst strength testing

Flatbread Burst Strength Testing by Forward Extrusion Method

The resistance to bursting or tearing under force is an important quality characteristic in products such tortillas or flatbreads. By using the extensibility fixture and a penetration probe, we can replicate the normal function of a flatbread - containing vegetables, meats, sauces, etc.

The extensibility fixture allows the flatbread to be held while the texture analyzer punctures through each sample in a consistent manner.

Processors can use the information gathered from this test to better understand how variations in the raw ingredients, along with changes associated with the formulation can affect the functionality and final texture of the product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Flatbread Burst Strength

Crouton crunchiness testing samples

Crouton Crunchiness Testing by Bulk Analysis Kramer Shear Cell Method

For some products, it makes more sense to evaluate them as a whole rather than on an individual basis. Croutons are one such product. Due to the extreme variation from piece, testing a single crouton in isolation would not give repeatable, consistent or useful results.

The bulk analysis method of the Kramer Shear Cell allows for several pieces to be tested at several different points in a single replication, giving a better and clearer overall picture of the product. For this test, a few samples were loaded into the bottom of the test cell and the blades moved down to compress and shear (cut) through the bulk product.

At the conclusion of the test, the software calculates the resistance created by the sample. More force means that the product is harder, which can be equated to a crunchier texture. This objective information can be used to better understand how changes in formulation can affect the final texture of the product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Crouton Crunchiness

Cookie bend to break testing

Cookie Hardness Testing by Three Point Bend to Break Method

The resistance to breaking is a quality characteristic for many bakery products, specifically cookies. This is typically measured using the three point bend method, which involves two lower fulcrums to support the sample while an upper fulcrum moves down into the product.

This loading causes the sample to bend and if of the right kind of texture, eventually break. Hard, brittle products will almost always break while softer products may just bend without breaking or snapping.

Processors can use the objective data to better understand how changes in formulation and processing parameters can affect the quality of the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Cookie Hardness

Carrageenan firmness testing

Carrageenan Firmness Testing bv Cylinder Probe Compression Method

Carrageenan is an ingredient that is a used widely in the food industry as a texture modifier. As its effect can vary in the preparation, it is important to understand the textural attributes of the raw ingredient. Since it is gel in its prepared form, it is tested using a method similar to that of other gels.

A small cylinder probe is used to penetrate into the sample and then return to the starting point. The software then calculates some points that are relative to the textural properties of the carrageenan. These generally include peak force (firmness) and are under the curve (work).

These data can then be correlated to quality aspects of the ingredient that can affect the processing parameters of the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Carrageenan Texture Properties

Cake firmness testin samples

Cake Firmness Testing by Cylinder Probe Compression Method

Firmness is one of primary quality indicators for most bakery products. Similar to bread, cake is tested by doing a simple compression test. The firmness can be directly related to freshness of the product. Fresh products tend to be softer than slightly older products. This is due to the product taking up moisture and becoming stale.

Staleness is an undesirable trait for most bakery products, cake included. This test was done by placing a slice of cake on the texture analyzer. The 25.4mm was used to do a simple compression of the product, compressing it to a set distance.

For bakery products, a second compression can be used to measure how the product springs back to the original shape. This method can be used by processors to gather objective data as it relates to several textural traits of their product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Cake Firmness

Breakfast pastry crispiness by bend

Breakfast Pastry Crispiness Testing by Three Point Bend Method

The resistance to bending or breaking can be related to any number of textural characteristics for several different kinds of food products. For a frozen breakfast pastry, one of the important quality characteristics is the crispiness (or crispness) of the product when prepared.

Processors need to understand how the product is going to behave when cooked according to their instructions. In this test, 3 different groups were cooked: control, over cooked, and under cooked. The samples where then tested under the same parameters using the light weight three point bend fixture. This attachment allows the texture analyzer to bend and break the samples in a consistent manner.

At the conclusion of the testing, the software was used to compare the results from the 3 different groups. The variations in results were then correlated to variables introduced in the test method (cook time). This helps the manufacturer better understand how certain variables can affect the quality of their product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Breakfast Pastry Crispiness

French bread staleness testing

French Bread Staleness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

Freshness and staleness are primary indicators of the quality of most bread products - the desirable texture being softness equating to freshness. French bread is often firmer and said to be somewhat stale, which is the target texture for this particular product.

The test was done by using the 12.7mm cylinder to penetrate the outer crust of the sample and move on into the inner crumb of the product. This produces a force/distance curve on the graph. This curve represents the sample’s resistance to the probe penetration.

The higher the force, the more firm the product is and this peak value directly correlates with the customer’s perception of freshness/staleness of the bread.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: French Bread Staleness

Sliced bread Texture Profile Analysis

Bread (Breadcrumb) Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) by Cylinder Probe Compression Method

Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) is one of the few standard test methods related to food texture measurement. It is a twice-compressed test and then a number of calculated points that relate to characteristics.

Some of the traits that TPA calculates are hardness, softness, stickiness, cohesiveness, gumminess, and so on. The test is carried out using an appropriate compression plate or probe. The product is compressed, generally to a percentage of the sample height, and then the software displays the results and performs the required calculations.

While TPA is often used in the research and development part of food production, it can also be helpful in maintaining certain quality aspects.

At the conclusion of the test, the peak force was calculated and said to be the firmness of the sample.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer-Controlled Texture Analyzer

Case Study: Breadcrumb Texture Profile Analysis

Salami Firmness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

Salami Firmness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

Firmness of products can be measured in a number of different ways. For this test, a 25.4mm cylinder was used to measure the inner meat of a ground salami product.

Individual samples were cut from whole salami using a template. Each piece was approximately 1 inch in height when placed on the texture analyzer. The cylinder then moved down and penetrated into the product a set distance.

The peak force measured by the TL Software was then used to show a difference between ideal and off spec product. The goal was be able to objectively see the difference in the two sample groups, which this test clearly does.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Salami Firmness

Sausage firmness testing by compression platen

Sausage Firmness Testing by Compression Platen Method

The firmness/hardness of a product is one of the most widely used properties to gauge the texture of a food. A simple compression test is an easy and repeatable way to measure this characteristic. Meat products, such as sausages, can be evaluated for the bite force required (the product's shear resistance) by this method.

For this this test, an entire cocktail sausage was placed on the system. The compression plate moved down to a predetermined point and then returned back to the starting point.

At the conclusion of the test, the TL software was used to measure the maximum force that occurred during the test. This information can then be correlated to the process and the formulation, giving the producer valuable information relating to their product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Cocktail Sausage Shear Resistance

Soft candy sample compression test

Candy (Soft) Compression Testing by Compression Platen Method

Many products require only a simple compression test to give usable textural information. For soft candy, a certain level of hardness/firmness is all that is needed to determine whether or not the product meets certain quality controls.

To measure this, the sample is placed on the fixture table. A compression plate is then used to compress the sample to a certain distance.

The software then calculates the force/distance curve and gives the user valuable information about the sample that can be directly correlated to certain processing parameters and the formulation.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Caramels bulk analysis hardness test

Caramels Bulk Hardness Testing by Cup and Plunger Compression Method

Some products are more easily tested in a bulk form, meaning several pieces are tested at once instead of just one piece at a time.

For this test, samples were weighed and then planed in the sample cup. Then a plunger moved down and compressed the sample to a set distance from the base of the cup.

At the conclusion of the test, the software calculates the peak force for the test cycle. This number can be directly related to the hardness of the samples, which the manufacturers can use to understand process changes and make necessary adjustments.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Chick pea bulk firmness testing

Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans) Bulk Firmness Testing by Shear Compression Method

Products such as beans are often tested in bulk when doing texture analysis. Instead of testing one individual piece, many pieces are tested at once – bulk analysis.

Not only does this test more product with less replications, but it tends to give a better overall picture of the product as it takes in to account any variation that there is from piece to piece. For this test, a set amount of product (150 grams) was loaded in to the shear cell.

The blades then moved down to compress, shear, and ultimately extrude the product through the bottom of the cell. At the conclusion of the test, the TL software calculates the force needed to push the product through the shear cell.   This information can be used by processors to gain a better understanding of how certain parameters can affect the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Peaches firmness testing by Kramer Cell Shear method

Peaches (Canned) Bulk Firmness Testing by Kramer Cell Shear Method

Many canned fruit products are often tested in bulk as not only is it a valid test; it is also very simple and repeatable. The test is done by placing a set amount of product in the Kramer Shear Cell.

The upper blades of this fixture are designed to compress, shear, and ultimately extrude the product through the bottom of the cell. One of the major advantages to testing product in this manner is that it allows the texture analyzer to take into account all of the variation that occurs from piece. It also allows for testing more product samples with fewer replications.

At the conclusion of the test, the texture lab software uses the data to output information on the firmness of the samples. Firmness can then be directly correlated with certain processing parameters and even the formulation of the product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Canned Peaches Firmness

 

Bread-dough-extensibility-testing

Bread Dough Extensibility Testing by Tension Method

Extensibility of dough is one of the most important physical characteristics that it has. In more basic terms, extensibility refers to the products ability to stretch without breaking.

To measure this property, the TMS Dough-Gluten Extensibility Fixture is used. First samples are prepared by using the press to cut sample strips of the dough.

The strips of dough are then placed on the table. A hook is used to pull and stretch the product upward. The software then produces a force/distance curve and calculates certain parameters that are related to the texture of the product.

Processors can use this information to have a better understanding of the product based on objective data.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Candy corn hardness testing by compression platen

Candy Corn Hardness Testing by Compression Platen Method

Many products require only a simple compression test to measure the desired textural attribute. For candy corn, a 75 mm compression plate was used to test the samples.

This very simple test compressed each sample to a certain distance. At the conclusion of the test, the software was used to make calculations on the force/distance curve.

For this product, only the peak force (hardness/firmness) was needed to differentiate between “good” and “bad” samples. Using this information, producers should be able to control certain aspects of their processing based on objective texture data from the texture analyzer.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Canned carrots sample for texture analysis

Carrots (Canned) Bulk Firmness Testing by Kramer Cell Shear Method

Many canned vegetable products are often tested in bulk as not only is it a valid test; it is also very simple and repeatable. The test is done by placing a set amount of product in the Kramer Shear Cell.

The upper blades of this fixture are designed to compress, shear, and ultimately extrude the product through the bottom of the cell.

One of the major advantages to testing product in this manner is that it allows the texture analyzer to take into account all of the variation that occurs from piece. It also allows for testing more product samples with fewer replications. At the conclusion of the test, the texture lab software uses the data to output information on the firmness of the samples.

Firmness can then be directly correlated with certain processing parameters and even the formulation of the product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Canned Carrots Texture Evaluation

Tablet Crush using perspex cylinder

Tablet Crush and Brittleness Testing by Cylinder Probe Compression Method

The force needed to crush a tablet (either a pharmaceutical or some other form) can be an indication on whether or not the product was produced correctly and meets certain quality standards.

Using this test, the manufacturer can measure the amount of force needed break the product.

The test can be done one of two ways: applying a known force and observing whether or not the sample breaks; or compressing the sample to a known distance and measuring the amount of force that is needed. A perspex compression probe may be used to apply the loading.

Both will give an indication of the hardness of the tablet, a key quality component in the production process.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Tablet Crush Break Test

Simple Penetration of a Blocked Cheese Product

Cheese (Block) Firmness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

A simple test using a 6 mm probe used to determine the firmness of a piece of cheese in block form.

Test setup involved 2 varying types of cheese to compare. Samples were allowed equilibrate to ambient temperature (about 72 F°) prior to testing.

For each replication of the application, the 6 mm probe moved down until it found the surface of the sample and then moved an additional 15mm into the product. At the conclusion of the test, the TL Pro software calculated the work (area under the curve) that was needed to penetrate the samples.

Higher work values are indicative of a product that can be said to be more firm than those that require less work.

Processors can use this information to understand how different formulations can affect the final texture.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Firmness Comparison of Cheese

Shear Testing of Almonds Using Large Knife Edge

Almond Shear Resistance Testing by Knife Edge Cut Method

The Large Knife Edge can be used to apply a precision force to any number of small samples. It is designed to replicate the force a cutting utensil or tooth applies to a food product. It is particularly useful for small particulate product such as nuts.

This specific test was on different varieties of almonds. Depending on the variation, the samples could behave differently during further processing or consumption.

Using this setup to measure the force needed to shear a sample can be used to predict how these different samples are going to react during the process. Additionally, it can be an indication of what the consumer should expect upon consumption in both a raw or processed (cut, diced, sliced, etc.) form.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro computer controlled and Touch texture analyzers

Pasta shape stickiness samples

Pasta Stickiness Testing by Compression Method

The stickiness of pasta caused by its starch content is one of primary texture characteristics. Using a simple compression test, one is able to measure the stickiness of a single piece of pasta.
Most compression test measure the maximum force incurred during the test. To test stickiness, a known force is applied to the product. The compression plate then moves upward.

The stickier a product the greater the negative force will be exerted on the compression plate. At conclusion of the test replication, the TL Pro software calculates the trough point or maximum negative force (below the x-axis).

This information can be correlated with results from both consumer and sensory panels as a way to supplement the subjective information with objective data points.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Pasta Stickiness

Hardness of Candy using 6 mm Cylinder Probe

Candy (Peppermint) Hardness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

The hardness of some candy is very important as it is an indication of its resistance to breakage during shipment. Most of these hard candies are consumed in a way that does not involve chewing.

The hardness of these products is a quality characteristic directly related breakage resistance during transport to the final consumer. Using a TMS Texture Analyzer fitted with a 6 mm cylinder probe, the force needed to fracture and break the product can be obtained in an objective manner.

The probe moves down to a certain distance that allows enough force to be exerted on the sample that its structure fails. The more force that is needed for this to happen, the harder the product is said to be.

Producers can use this information to predict whether or not their product is hard enough to make it through the transport process without breaking.

Food Technology Systems:TMS Pro Computer-controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Hardness of Peppermints

Gelatin Strength using 12.7mm Bloom Cylinder

Gelatin Strength Testing by Cylinder Bloom Probe Penetration Method

The strength of a gel can be a very important characteristic both as a final good and as an ingredient. Gelatin can be consumed as a whole in a product such as gelatin snack cups. It is also often used binding agent in any number of other products.

The strength a gel has refers to how strong structurally it is said to be. The test involves using small cylinder probe to penetrate a set distance into the sample, almost to the point of rupture, and then returning back to the starting point.

The TL Pro Software was used the measure both the peak force along with area under the curve (work). Depending on the processor’s intended use of the gel (final good or ingredient), they can use the objective data from the texture analyzer to make informed decisions about their product.

Food Technology Systems:TMS Pro Computer-controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Gelatin Snacks

Jam Flow Characterization Using Back Extrusion

Jam Firmness and Flow Characteristics Testing by Back Extrusion Method

Many products that are in a semi-solid form (such as jelly, jam, yogurt, etc.) are said to flow, meaning the parts of the product will spread out if not held by a container.

Semi-solid products are special as they exhibit traits of both solid and liquid states. Because of this ability to flow, semi-solid products are often treated as liquids in processing, using pumps and piping to move the product throughout the process.

It is important for the processors to be able to understand this characteristic, not only in regards to quality but also as it directly relates to the actual process.

The TMS Pro Texture analyzer can be fitted with an array of attachments that simulate the flow of a product.

Whether it is the dual extrusion cell or just a simple cylinder paired with a standard sample cup, the principle is the same. Force is applied to the product, which flows around the plunger/cylinder as it moves down. The more force required, the more resistant to flow the product is said to be.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer controlled texture analyzer

Gum firmness testing with a probe fixture

 

Gum Hardness Testing by Spherical Probe Penetration Method

The 6.35mm ball probe can be used for a number of different products.

It is typically used in situations where the sample being tested is not consistent or is not completely flat. The round shape of the probe allows for a consistent force to evenly be applied across the surface of the sample. When fitted to one of the TMS texture analyzers, this probe can be very helpful in determining several textural properties.

This particular test was for the hardness/firmness of a chewing gum product. Several small penetrations were done in to the gum and then an average was taken by the TL Pro software.

This will give the processor an indication on the hardness of the sample that can be related to both processing parameters and consumer sensory panels.

Food Technology Systems:TMS-Pro Computer Controlled Texture Analyzer

Case Study: Bend strength of Chewing Gum

Dual Compression Testing of Cheese Blocks

Cheese (Block) Firmness Testing by Dual Compression Method

The 75mm compression plate is a flexible and widely used attachment in texture testing.

It is a used to apply a consistent force to sample that is in any number of forms. For blocked cheese, small samples were cut using a template to ensure consistent results. For this product, the sample was compressed twice to a set distance.

The dual compression cycle allows for characteristics such as springiness and cohesiveness to be calculated by the TMS Pro in addition to firmness/hardness.

This is done by comparing areas under the two force curves produced by the each compression and calculating the ratio. A ratio of 1:1 represents perfect elasticity.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro computer controlled texture analyzer

Crunchiness of Pickles using Single Blade Shear

Pickle Crunchiness Testing by Single Blade Shear Method

A single blade shear can be used any number of different products that are consumed by biting with the front incisors.

The blade mimics this cutting motion. Measuring the crunchiness of pickles is an example of an application to which this method would apply. After the samples equilibrate to ambient temperature, a single piece is placed on the fixture table.

The upper blade of the shear fixture moves down, “biting” the sample. From there, the TL Pro software calculates the force over distance traces for each replication.

Products that are said to be more crunchy have a steeper slope, higher peak force, and an almost immediate drop off in force once the sample has be cut through.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Pickle Crunchiness

Bulk Firmness of Canned Mushrooms using Shear Cell

Mushroom (Canned) Bulk Firmness Testing by Kramer Cell Shear Method

Bulk testing is often used to test products that are either consumed in that manner or too tedious to test one piece at a time.
The advantage of doing the testing like this is that is gives a better overall representation of the product with a limited number of replications. For this method, the sample product was first allowed to equilibrate to room temperature. A known amount (1 12 oz. can) was placed in the Shear Cell.

The test cell first compresses, then shears, and finally extrudes the sample through the bottom of the test cell. Using this method, the processor can obtain a complete picture of the firmness of the samples based on objective data.

This will allow them to make more informed decisions about the formulation and parameters of the process and how they affect the texture of the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro computer controlled and Touch Texture analyzers

Case Study: Canned Mushrooms

Bulk Compression Test of Freeze Dried Diced Avocado

Avocado (Frozen, Diced) Bulk Firmness Testing by Bulk Analysis Method

Some test applications require that custom methods be developed outside the normal range of FTC accessories.

This particular method required that a custom bulk extrusion cylinder and plunger setup be created, as in order to compress small pieces of sample in a consistent manner, the product as a whole had to be contained. By developing this custom method, the client was able to consistently and repeatedly measure the firmness of their product.

The test setup was a sample cup that was 3.5” to hold the product and a 3.25” compression plate.

Each test replication involved compressing a set mass of product to a certain distance from the bottom of the sample.

At the conclusion of each replication, the TL Po software calculates the firmness of the sample.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Controlled Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Frozen Avocado Firmness

Bulk analysis of rice using Kramer Shear Cell

Rice Bulk Firmness Testing by Kramer Cell Shear Method

Many foods, such as rice are consumed as a whole instead of on an individual piece by piece basis.

It only makes sense to test them in a similar manner. Using the Kramer Shear Cell allows the product to be tested in this bulk form. For the test, the rice was first prepared according to the instructions on the packaging.

Each sample was then immediately placed in the shear cell. The upper blades of the shear cell then compressed and sheared the product until it was extruded through the bottom of the cell. The TL Pro Software then calculated the force that was needed to perform the test replication.

Higher values are representative of a product that can be said to be more firm. Processors can use this information to determine how certain changes in formulation can affect the final product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: White and Brown Rice Firmness

Brittleness using Spaghetti Snap fixture

Spaghetti Brittleness Testing by Bend to Break Method

Spaghetti noodles are often tested in the dry, uncooked form using a simple subjective sensory method.

This typically involves a person breaking the sample in their hands. This type of test is an indication of the strength of the final uncooked product.

The strength of the uncooked product is especially important when considering whether or not it is going to break during the production and shipping process.

The spaghetti snap fixture allows the TMS Pro Texture Analyzer to bend and break individual pieces of the pasta in a consistent and objective manner. The data gathered from the TMS Pro is able to correlate directly with the force needed to break the pasta. This sometimes referred to as brittleness.

Food Technology Systems:TMS Pro computer-controlled and Touch texture analyzers

breaking of hard candy

Candy Break Force Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

Many candies are considered to be hard, yet they are consumed by chewing. This means there is fine line between too hard and too soft.

If the candy is said to be soft, it could break or have a texture that is undesirable to the consumer.

A product that is too hard could result in something like a broken tooth for the consumer. The producers want to avoid both of these situations.

Using a texture analyzer fitted with a 6 mm cylinder probe allows for a simple penetration test that will measure the force needed to break the product.

The more force exerted before breakage, the harder the product is said to be.
This particular setup allows the user to test multiple samples in rapid succession, giving an overall average of the product in a short time frame.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Breaking of Hard Candy

bread dough firmness

Dough Firmness Testing by Cylinder Probe Penetration Method

This test was designed the measure the difference in firmness of two different bread dough samples. First the products were allowed to equilibrate under refrigeration to approximately 40°F.

For each test replication, the probe moved down until it came into contact with the bread dough. It then went an additional 5mm into the product. Upon completion, the TL Pro software calculated the maximum force incurred (firmness).

These results were then compared between the two samples in order to see the difference.

Using this information, the processor can know have a better understanding of how certain changes in processing parameters can affect the final texture of the product.

Food Technology Systems: TMS Pro Computer Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzer

Case Study: Bread Dough Firmness

brownie-bend-and-snap-testing

Brownie Firmness Testing by 3-Point Bend Break Method

Measuring the force needed to bend and break a sample is one way that the TMS Texture Systems can be used to measure the texture of any number of products. This is an especially popular method in bakery products such as cookies or brownies to evaluate freshness. This test setup mimics how many of these products are tested for quality, by holding in the hands and breaking to pieces. This particular application was for a brownie product. Samples were allowed to equilibrate to ambient temperature prior to testing.

Then each sample was placed on the lower fulcrums of the break fixture. The upper fixture moved and the system measured the force that was needed to break each sample - the firmness equating to freshness.

This information can be used by processors to measure and therefore control the quality of the final product along with monitoring the consistency of the incoming raw ingredients.

Food Technology Systems: TMS-Pro Computer-Controlled and Touch Texture Analyzers

Case Study: Brownie Freshness

Food Technology Corporation's heritage lies in food texture measurement.

Foodtechcorp at the TECNOALIMIENTOS. exhibition

Tecno Alimentos Expo in Mexico City, Mexico (Prufer Comercial- FTC Mexican Distributor)\nAugust 7-9, 2012

EUROPAIN 2012, in Paris, France from March 3-7th

One of the largest expositions for the bakery and confectionary industries held every 2 years.\nOur distributor team in France at MAES LABORATOIRE.

The TMS-Pro instrument on display performing a simple compression test on a piece of French bread.

Eliana Moreschi from MP Strumenti

FTC’s distributor in Italy, presenting the benefits of FTC’s texture analyzer products at the recent CibusTech show in Parma,Italy Oct.18-21st, 2011.

Ensoul Technology, Ltd

FTC’s distributor in China, presenting the benefits of FTC’s new touch screen food texture analyzer, the TMS Touch at the recent Functional Food & Health International Symposium in Nanjing China.

FTC Distributor in Korea (MCIK)

Showcasing the TMS-Touch Texture Analyzer at the 2012 KoSFoST (Korean Society of Food Science and Technology).

FTC marks its presence at the IFT 13

Food Technology Corporation once again was part of the most prominent Food Technology trade show in the United States, IFT 13. The show took place in Chicago from July 14-16. FTC promoted its most popular food texture analyzer and presented the new system TMS-Pilot, that will be release to the market in the coming months.

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