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

I have been using the TMS-Pro mechanical tester in our undergraduate biological materials property course for the past 3 years. The simple setup and operation of the TMS-Pro allows my students to focus on learning the theoretical underpinnings of mechanical properties instead of fighting with a finicky test system.

An added bonus is working with Shirl and his amazing team at Food Technology Corporation. They respond almost immediately to questions and inquiries and are always friendly and helpful. 

Jennifer (Melander) Keshwani, Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
http://www.unl.edu/

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

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