You are here

Compression test methods

Animation of compression test method with a plate

Compression is one of the most common texture tests, especially for food products. Typically a sample is placed on a flat surface and an upper compression platen is lowered into the sample.

Compression testing samples should be smaller than both the surface area of the probe and the test surface on which the sample is placed. This should be true for the duration of the test as the geometry of the sample changes as it is compressed.

Tests are performed by compression to a given force, a given position or a percentage of the original height of the sample. Compression with smaller diameter probes, compress locally and may also induce penetration or puncture.

See FTC's compression test method capabilities.

Test procedures

TPA or Texture Profile Analysis, is a specialized derivative of compression testing. TPA consists of a 4 step test of compression, relaxation, recompression and then a final relaxation. A set of mathematical equations are then used on the resulting data to arrive at numerical values of such texture attributes as hardness, cohesiveness, springiness and chewiness.

Compression testing can also be useful in measuring the adhesive or stickiness of the product. It is common in stickiness measurements to compress to a preset degree, hold the position for a given amount of time, and then pull back up quickly to accentuate the adhesive result.

Click here for a video demonstrating compression testing of cheese

The measurement of succulence (juiciness) is also performed by compression, the sample usually measure in bulk. Typically a constant force is applied for a given time and the expressible moisture is measured in a graduated cylinder.

Compression platens come in many different sizes and are made from various materials such as stainless steel, aluminium and plastics. Selection of the proper variant depends upon the product and the test sample's geometry.

Compression testing fixtures

Compression test methodsTPA compression test resultsCompression testing applications in food industries

Trusted by customers across the world

I have been working with FTC for the past 3 years, we bought in that lapse of time 2 texture analyzers with different probes fixtures for all kind of applications at our Monterrey Plant. We have always been able to count on the technical support of FTC who kindly answers our requests in a prompt manner and with the best disposition.

As we continue developing our process to achieve better results at our company, we will for sure rely on FTC for technical support and equipment upgrades that will deliver us the best possible results.

Claudia Rojas, Hershey Monterrey Plant - Mexico
Asst. Staff Scientist
https://www.hersheys.com

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

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