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

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/

I am impressed by the great attitude you have toward your customers.

With all the responsibilities you have, but in less than an hour you reply to our one year’s worth of questions, as if you are dedicated to provide support to our company only.

 

 

Ahmed N. Alajaji, Aljazirah Dates and Food, Saudi Arabia
http://www.aljazirahdates.com.sa

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/