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Parmesan Cheese Fracturability

Situation

Measuring fracturability and cohesiveness of Parmesan cheese blocks in order to predict if the cheese will shred well or not.

This processor produces blocks of hard cheeses which are sent to either be shredded or grated as end product. The processor had issues with some of the blocks fracturing and crumbling when on the shredding line. They needed to determine beforehand the cheese's texture in order to decide if it was best for the shredder or grater. Highly fracturable and crumbly blocks were sent to be the grated end product, whilst those which kept their shape and stayed together were ideal for consumer shredding.

Method

Testing was performed with a TMS-Pro Texture Analyzer, a 500 N load cell and a 20° clear Perspex conical probe. The 3 blocks of cheese were tested at 45° F. The blocks were not cut into smaller samples in order not to cause fractures/breaks. The testing program was written to start with zeroing out, then run down to sense the top of the block before beginning the penetration as the blocks were not uniform in shape. The probe ran into the cheese until 50 mm at a speed of 250 mm/min, and then returned to its start position. The graph to the right shows 2 samples of each product tested.

Significance

The TMS-Pro texture analyzer system proved to detect the differences among the three cheese products and through numerous samples, proved to be consistent and repeatable.

Fixtures on Case studies

Associated Industry: 

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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

The University of Arizona’s Nutritional Sciences Food Lab acquired a Texture Analyzer from Food Technologies about 5 years ago. The company has a great product, which is tailored to food needs. 

We have used the Texture Analyzer for both research projects and as a tool to demonstrate to students how food manufacturers can employ objective testing in product evaluation to show how differing ingredients in the same product can affect quality attributes. Its use adds another dimension to the foods labs.

Drew Lambert has been instrumental in helping with set up for testing and providing support whenever there’s a question. He has been a pleasure to work with and is always accommodating with our needs and schedules.  He has even sent us special attachments for special projects.  We couldn’t ask for a better technical support.  Thanks for a great product and great service.

Patricia Sparks, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice
https://www.arizona.edu

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/