You are here

Cocktail Sausage Firmness Comparison

Situation

Texture-analyzer-Cocktail-SausagesThe following data was gathered for a potential client, in an effort to come up with a more consistent and objective way to evaluate the texture of their sausage products, specifically the firmness of the products. The current method is mostly on a sensory basis and can be very subjective. While sensory is important, it can vary significantly from person to person.

For this test Food Technology Corporation (FTC) was sent two sample sets, one beef and one chicken. FTC was asked to come up with a method that would be able to show a difference in the products that were sent.

 

Method

Texture-analyzer-Cocktail-Sausages2

All testing was done with FTC’s TMS-Pro Texture Analyzer, fitted with a 25N Intelligent Load Cell (ILC). A 75mm compression plate was mounted to the ILC to apply the force to the individual samples. Each test replication involved the TMS-Pro compressing each sample to the same displacement of 20mm. The system moved down at a speed of 50mm/min until it came into contact with the sample. It then set the surface of the sample to zero mm displacement before compressing the sample to a displacement of 20mm. Having the system find the surface of the sample is an important step as there was some variation in the circumference of the samples. The displacement of 20mm was chosen as it was a distance that was far enough to cause the skin of the sausage to rupture. This motion is designed to replicate biting into a sample.

 

Results and Discussion

Below is the graphical representation of the samples that were tested. The X-axis is displacement and the Y-axis is force.

graph-coctail-sausages

For this test, we looked at the maximum force that occurred and also the area under the curve (work) as both of these can be a good indicator of the overcall firmness of the product.

Below is a table showing the calculations that were done on the above graph.

sample-testing-coctail-sausages

In looking at the results above, one can easily see the difference in the two sample sets. The chicken samples required almost double the amount of force to compress when compared to the beef samples. The beef samples were slightly more consistent than the chicken samples though we cannot say if this is the natural variation of the product as we had a limited number of samples to work with.

 

Significance

Based on our results, a significant and repeatable difference in the two products can be produced using the described methodology. In looking at the final data, one can conclude that the chicken product takes more energy and force to bite/chew than the beef products. This data is supported by the historical sensory data of the products.

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

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

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/