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Cookie Hardness

Specification

hardness testing of a cookie

A speciality biscuit and cookie manufacturer wanted to objectively measure biscuit hardness. Three different samples were evaluated representing:

• too soft
• ideal
• too hard

The markers generated were required to monitor and control a baking line; improve production consistency and provide information for the proactive adjustment of formulation and oven profile to maintain an ‘ideal’ texture.

The snap characteristics of hard and brittle cookies were evaluated using a three-point bend assembly as an indicator of bake profile.

The cookie sample is supported at two points. The travelling beam moves down at maximum speed and snaps the sample creating a single massive fracture.

 

Commercial Benefits

cookie samples for hardness and snap testing

Crispness / Brittleness - Break characteristics can be used to optimise product formulation and handling during manufacture e.g.optimised mix times, oven profiles and starting moisture contents.

Hardness / Break Point - Properties evaluated over shelf-life demonstrate the effectiveness of packaging in preventing moisture penetration from atmosphere in brittle products.

Fracture - Break properties can be used to determine sensory preference during development.

 

Method

hardness testing cookies FTC system capability table

Conditions imposed by the TMS-Pro texture analyzer together, with good experimental design accommodated natural variation in the sample set. A snap test was proposed to break the cookies at speed, creating a single massive fracture.

Sample variation was removed from the three sample sets. Each batch was checked for size, surface properties, breaks and presence of large particulates.

 

Significance

The method followed has demonstrated a clear difference between hard and soft cookie samples. The differentiation between soft and ideal product is much smaller and highlights the need for large sample sets.

The deformation to break in the ideal and soft samples is much greater than that of the hard product.

This is also reflected in the work characteristics where the hard and much more brittle samples fractured and failed very quickly in comparison to their soft counterparts. Repeating this technique is dependent on test speed. It is essential to cause a massive fracture and not propagate small breaks if clear differentiation between samples is to be made.

Trusted by customers across the world

Nestle purchased a texture system from Food Technology Corporation in 2006. Since then I have recommended the texture system to several vendors in North and Central America. Staff at FTC was able to develop a simple training manual and procedure for the texture system allowing easy training in short period of time.

From purchasing of equipment through to installation and start-up, the level of personal care and service was remarkable. Shirl Lakeway and his staff at Food Technology Corporation are patient and understanding, and are always at our disposal for any assistance. Since we bought the equipment we have had no problems and feel very secure knowing that we can count on FTC for their support and service.

Dr Mawele Shamaila, Nestle - USA
http://www.nestleusa.com/

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

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