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Pasta Firmness and Cook Profile

Situation

Close up uncooked penne pastaA processor of several different kinds of pasta was looking for a more consistent and less time consuming way to control its outgoing product. Current methods involve extensive sensory testing with trained panels. This is very subjective and often tedious to set up.
 

As with most processed food products, the incoming raw ingredients are constantly changing. The flour that is used differs depending on where it is grown and at what time of the year it is harvested. This causes inconsistencies in the starch and protein levels in the product. Because of this, several different flours are often mixed to produce a constant starting point of the pasta production. Even still, it is a continuous battle to produce the same product from day to day.

 

Method

texture evaluation of pasta results graphBefore testing, enough pasta was cooked to perform several replications. For this particular test, penne pasta was used but this method could be applied to any number of pasta shapes. In order to show a difference in the product, different cook times were used. After the pasta cooked, drained, and cooled it was ready to be tested. 100 grams of pasta was placed in a CS-1 standard shear cell. This cell consists of 10 blades that first compress and then shear through the product. The force required to do this is a good indicator of the firmness of the pasta. Additionally, the negative force caused by the pasta when the blades are retracting is an indication of the stickiness of the sample. Both of these are important factors in the consumer’s overall impression of the product.

 

Significance

pasta texture evaluation data table

• Quick and easy test that gives repeatable, objective results with less effort and time than traditional sensory evaluation.

• Reduces the possibility of downtime due to a product that does not meet quality standards.
• Able to predict how consumers will react to product when results are compared to the sensory panel data

  

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/

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

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