Gelatin Snacks Regular and Sugar-Free

Situation

gelatinSweeteners are under the spotlight in many foods, and choice of sweetener affects both taste and mouthfeel. To ensure a reformulation of an established product continues to meet consumer expectations, objective data are required. This may be very difficult as regards taste, but for mouthfeel, a food texture analyzer provides a reliable answer. In this example, we compare a gelatin snack formulated with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), with the same product formulated with aspartame.

 

 

 

 

 

Method

The method is loosely based on the Bloom test for measuring the strength of a gel or gelatin, but instead of applying weight to a probe, a downwards machine movement is applied and the force data gathered continuously. In this example, a Food Technology Corporation (FTC) TMS-Pro Texture Analyzer was used, fitted with a 25 N intelligent loadcell, and a 12.7mm (1/2 inch) diameter Bloom cylinder probe.

All the samples were allowed to equilibrate under refrigeration to a temperature of 40°F. Each sample cup was removed in turn from the refrigerator and immediately tested. The test program moved the probe to detect touching the surface of the sample, and then move down a further 3 mm before returning to the start position. The peak force achieved is a measure of the firmness of the gel.

Three HFCS-sweetened samples were tested against three containing aspartame.

 

Results

The graphical representation from TL-Pro, of the test results for the four samples, is shown here (force applied, against cumulative displacement).

At maximum displacement, the two sample types are distinguishable. What is noticeable is how repeatable the test is. By selecting a probe, speed, and displacement for best comparison of a given product, greater separation by firmness can be achieved. A smoother curve will be obtained by using a loadcell of finer resolution.

The same results with additional calculations are shown here.

  • Average = arithmetic mean

 

Significance

The difference in firmness of these samples may not be distinguishable by subjective mouthfeel testing, but they do show a change to a softer product when sugar-free. Other formulations can be compared accurately by using a texture analyzer. It is also possible to test to a point of rupture in the gel, and measure the texture around this point. The Bloom test was developed for gel strength, but a gelatin snack also needs to feel good as it is broken down in the mouth.

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/

I have found FTC to be an excellent partner for our company. In particular, it has been especially gratifying to work with Shirl Lakeway. Both creative and accommodating, he worked very hard with us to develop our projects.

I appreciate his commitment to our joint efforts and his open-minded approach. He and FTC have been exceptionally helpful.

Steve Antonius, Del Monte Foods
http://www.delmonte.com/