A bulk analysis test method is used when it is not practical or representative to test an individual sample as a whole or component piece - the product sample is tested “in bulk”. Particulate products (e.g. reconstituted meats), or foodstuffs which contain small elements in an individual serving or mouthful (e.g. rice or beans), lend themselves to being analyzed by this method. The procedure then applies compression, extrusion and shear - often in combination - resulting in high forces. The most widely-used fixture is the Kramer shear cell.
See FTC's bulk analysis test method capabilities.
The procedure uses a lower accessory contain the bulk product and an upper component plunger or blade moves downwards to compress and/or shear. The deformed sample extrudes, either forward through the bottom of the container cell, or backwards around the upper accessory.
The peak compressive force is an important measurement, the data is an average for the overall texture, and the shear cell application is very illustrative of mouthfeel – accurately simulating the biting and chewing of food.
Click here for a video of the bulk analysis of meat and vegetarian burgers