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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

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

Excellent customer service. Consistently followed up and offered help without asking. Relatively low priced - provides good value. 

Easy to switch different load cells. Used it for 5 lab sessions for 68 students this semester and performed well.

 

 

Professor Jeyam Subbiah, University of Nebraska
https://nebraska.edu/

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