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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

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/

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