You are here

Bread Shelf Life

Situation

shelf-life study of sliced bread image
Stale? Or acceptable? One way to assess the shelf-life of bread is to use simple and subjective sensory evaluation (does it feel right in the hand and mouth). A Food Technology Corporation (FTC) food texture analyzer, however, can provide a much more accurate measurement for what is described as acceptable, and go on repeating the same test reliably, time after time. Has formulation improved shelf life? Can packaging or storage be better? The only reliable method of measurement is mechanized texture analysis, informed by initial sensory perception.

The testing described here illustrates how freshness can be assessed, measured, and then those measurements applied to a texture analyzer for accurate and repeatable testing of a product. The data, however, reveal a much richer picture than just a measure of freshness.

 

Method

A Food Technology Corporation (FTC) TMS-Pro Texture Analyzer was used, fitted with a 25 N intelligent loadcell and a 36 mm AACC cylinder probe. Samples were drawn from the same loaf of bread and tested in the same way, but half the samples were left out overnight to dry and go stale, creating a significant difference to be measured.

For each compression, the test program moved the probe until it touched the surface of the sample. It then moved the probe 5 mm into the bread at a speed of 100 mm/min, before returning at the same speed to the starting position. This allowed sufficient compression, but safely within the thickness of the sample. The TL-Pro software then automatically calculated both the firmness of the product and the work done (energy) to compress each sample.

 

Results

The graphical representation from TL-Pro, of the test results for the eight samples, is shown here (force applied, against cumulative displacement).

Graph of Shelf-life study of white bread

There is clear separation in the traces of the fresh and stale groups, which is a direct measurement of the different degrees of firmness.

The same results with additional calculations are shown here.

Sample testing data table of sliced bread's shelf-life image

  • Average = arithmetic mean
  • SD = standard deviation
  • CV = coefficient of variation: (SD/Mean) x 100

 

Significance

These results, with a CV of 10% or less, demonstrate a valid methodology for objective measurement of how varying conditions affect the texture of a sliced bread product. There is a significant difference between the samples of fresh and stale samples: the stale product was almost twice as firm as the fresh product. Lower degrees of staleness will reduce the separation, but groups will remain distinct. This offers the ability to measure how variations in storage conditions, packaging or formulation affect the final product, allowing food processors to develop methods to control changes in texture.

There is more detail available in the shape of the graph curve, which is characteristic of a product. This allows more comparison between products and formulations than just freshness, and ‘ideal’ samples can be used as a quality base line in production testing, for consistency.

Trusted by customers across the world

My first contact with FTC was through buying texture analyzer equipment as my area of interest is Rheology. We faced a problem operating the appliance. The company tried hard to help us through the internet, but the University thought it was better to send me to the company branch located in England. I received a highly advanced training course for 10 days free of charge. They provided me with programs that operate the equipment along with the information needed.

It was a great effort and outstanding support. I would like to thank Shirl Lakeway and FTC for providing me with this opportunity and for his continuous help. Finally, I encourage researchers who are interested in the physical properties of foods and dairy to choose FTC as it is a respectable and dependable company and offers the best deals concerning prices and training with different languages, such as Arabic for the Middle East.

Professor Hoda El-Zeini, Dairy Science and Agriculture University - Cairo, Egypt
Professor
https://cu.edu.eg

Our experience with FTC has been more than satisfactory, not only for the quality of the equipment you’ve got but for the post selling service that has proved to be excellent.

Any problem that we had, it took nothing more than a simple mail or phone call to have your immediate answer. We want to thank you very much for the quality of service provided.

 

 

Gonzalo Moraes, Arrozur S.A. Montevideo – Uruguay

As a Meat Scientist and program leader for the University of Nevada, Reno, I need to ensure that equipment I use in my lab is reliable, durable, versatile, and accurate. For texture analysis of meats, there are many systems available in the market. Over the last 15 years of my career, I¹ve worked with many of them and had great and bad experiences with different brands.

Last year, I decided to try a different system for my lab, the TMS-Pro Texture Analyzer from Food Technology Corporation. The system has all the attributes I was expecting to conduct texture and shear force analysis in a quick and not complicated way. The customer support provided by them is outstanding and their technicians are always ready to walk me through new procedures and initial set up. If you are looking for a reliable system for food texture analysis and special customer service, the TMS-Pro is the system to go for and the Food Technology Corporation is the one that can deliver the support.

Amilton de Mello
Assistant Professor of Agriculture, Meat Science and Food Safety
https://www.unr.edu/anvs