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Cake Firmness

Situation

firmness testing of pound cake

A processor of pound cakes knew the textures of their products could be different depending on which formulation was used and therefore needed an objective and quantifiable tool to measure the texture to correlate with the sensory testing.

The qualities of firmness and also springiness were regarded as the criteria to confidently differentiate between the alternative recipes.

 

Method

Samples were prepared by cutting approximately one inch thick slices. Care was taken to make sure that each slice was even and consistent. This was done so that a consistent representation of the product was presented to the texture system each time. The testing was done using a TMS-Pro Texture Analyzer fitted with a 100 N load cell and a 25.4 mm (1”) Cylinder Probe. Two compression strokes form the basis of the industry-standard Texture Profile Analysis method, which produces a complete textural definition of the most important primary and secondary physical parameters. For each replication, the sample was twice compressed to 5 mm at a speed of 100 mm/min. The first compression was to determine the firmness of the product; the second one was to see how the product recovers after the first compression. The graph to the right shows Product A was firmer than Product B. Both products recovered to about 50% of their original form.

graph of firmness comparison results from the test

Significance

The TMS-Pro texture analyzer system along with the compression test proved to successsfully detect the differences in firmness of both cakes. The processor can use this test as a standard baseline or simply for comparison/correlation to their sensory tests.

cake firmness testing results data tables

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I have found FTC to be an excellent partner for our company. In particular, it has been especially gratifying to work with Shirl Lakeway. Both creative and accommodating, he worked very hard with us to develop our projects.

I appreciate his commitment to our joint efforts and his open-minded approach. He and FTC have been exceptionally helpful.

Steve Antonius, Del Monte Foods
http://www.delmonte.com/

At the University of Saskatchewan, we are the proud owners of three generations of Food Technology Corporation texture equipment, all of which are still in working condition.

We are looking forward to future innovations from FTC.

 

 

Phyllis J. Shand, University of Saskatchewan - Canada
https://www.usask.ca/

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/