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Beef Stick Firmness

Situation

Beef stick bite toughness testingA large manufacturer of beef sticks and beef jerky items was looking for a quantifiable, consistent way to measure and ultimately better control the texture of their product. Current methods involved simple visual inspections and very subjective human sensory evaluation.

The manufacturer had received consumer complaints that some of the beef sticks were too chewy when bitten into. The manufacturer needed to develop a baseline reference or “standard” for their “ideal” product so that they could compare other products (i.e. too chewy) to it. Before our test, they used sensory analysis alone to determine the bite strength of the product, however, they wanted a method to quantify the data and visualize the difference in the flavors and also difference in an ideal sample and a not ideal sample. A consistent and repeatable method of measuring and therefore controlling the texture is essential.

 

Method

Beef stick firmness results graphAll testing was done using a TMS-Pro with a 250N Load cell and a shear blade fixture, of notched Warrner-Bratzler design - an industry-standar for the evaluation of the toughness of meat products. The chart at the bottom exhibits the data collected from running samples of 4 different beef stick products. The graph demonstrates noticeable difference between the 4 flavors. After running many reps on each flavor, the manufacturer could get a “standard” or baseline for that particular flavor. Then, they can compare that number (peak force) to a product that is considered “too chewy”.

 

Significance

  • Quick and easy test that gives repeatable, objective results that are nearly real time with the processing
  • Client will now have a quantifiable way to show differences texture caused by formulation variations

Trusted by customers across the world

The University of Arizona’s Nutritional Sciences Food Lab acquired a Texture Analyzer from Food Technologies about 5 years ago. The company has a great product, which is tailored to food needs. 

We have used the Texture Analyzer for both research projects and as a tool to demonstrate to students how food manufacturers can employ objective testing in product evaluation to show how differing ingredients in the same product can affect quality attributes. Its use adds another dimension to the foods labs.

Drew Lambert has been instrumental in helping with set up for testing and providing support whenever there’s a question. He has been a pleasure to work with and is always accommodating with our needs and schedules.  He has even sent us special attachments for special projects.  We couldn’t ask for a better technical support.  Thanks for a great product and great service.

Patricia Sparks, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice
https://www.arizona.edu

As a seasonal vegetable processor, understanding crop maturity and the accuracy of this measurement is key to staying ahead of crop and knowing when to make the move from value to premium product as harvest time constraints permit.

The TU units provided by FTC give us the accuracy to work to much tighter tolerances, replacing older less accurate analogue equipment which in turn can affect final product grading and profitability.

The units are well designed, very low maintenance and are backed up with a strong support service which will allow them to provide many years of accurate, reliable service.

Colven Wilson
Technical Manager
http://www.eyefreeze.co.uk/

Excellent customer service. Consistently followed up and offered help without asking. Relatively low priced - provides good value. 

Easy to switch different load cells. Used it for 5 lab sessions for 68 students this semester and performed well.

 

 

Professor Jeyam Subbiah, University of Nebraska
https://nebraska.edu/