Mushrooms (Canned) Firmness Effect of Salt


A producer of canned mushrooms uses simple subjective measurements to evaluate the final texture of their product. The information is often used to make adjustments to the process. Their real need, however, is to obtain objective data that represents the sensory evaluation. Our example here demonstrates how this can easily be done using a food texture analyzer. For the particular test, an unsalted (control) product and a low-salt equivalent were compared.






A Food Technology Corporation (FTC) TMS-Pro Texture Analyzer was fitted with a 2.5 kN intelligent loadcell, along with a Kramer shear compression cell. This type of test cell is designed for testing products in a bulk form instead of small samples, compressing and extruding the contents with multiple blades. This method of testing generally produces more consistent results than simple probe or plate compression, achieving average texture values across the bulk sample. Each test used a whole can of drained mushrooms, which was allowed to stand for 90 seconds before being added to the shear cell.

The TL-Pro control and analysis software was programmed to move the blades of the test cell down at a speed of 250 mm/min to a distance far enough to ensure that the product was completely expressed through the bottom of the test cell. On completion of the test cycle, the software automatically calculated the peak force of compression or ‘firmness’ of the sample. In addition, the work done (energy spent, or area under the curve) was calculated as an additional defining factor.



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

The control and salted samples show no great distinction, there being no clear division of groups of traces. Lines cross, but generally with a greater peak force found in the unsalted samples, showing that firmness can increase at greater compression and extrusion depending on the product formulation.

The same results with additional calculations are shown here.

  • Average = arithmetic mean
  • SD = standard deviation
  • CV = coefficient of variation: (SD/Mean) x 100



Consistency in the results demonstrates that this method of testing is reliable, repeatable and detailed. Peak values over bulk testing are a valid and useful comparison. Firmness in itself may, however, be variable across the test, since shear is taking place, not just compression. The energy expended in completing the cycle could provide a more useful comparison figure, as may firmness at specific displacements. What we have demonstrated, however, is that objective and detailed data are available with computerized texture analysis that cannot be obtained any other way. These data provide an invaluable way to compare product formulations against subjective evaluations of what is a desired texture experience, and then to automate testing for acceptability.

Trusted by customers across the world

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

Service, equipment and people are all first class with Food Technology Corporation.

Questions and problems are handled quickly, which is something that is hard to find in today’s business environment.




David Smith, Riviana Foods Inc.

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