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.

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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

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

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