Three samples of a peanut-butter-based product were submitted to determine how to measure their flow characteristics. The product samples were marked good, dry, and wet.
The customer wanted a way to determine how the peanut butter would react during processing prior to actually making the finished product. The problem was product that was too wet (soft) would not hold shape, and product that was too dry would crumble. The texture of the product needed to fall within a given range to reduce the generation of unusable product and production delays.
Before testing, samples were allowed to equilibrate to room temperature (about 72 F°). A given amount of product was weighed and formed into a ball shape for each test replication. The samples were then “back-extruded” using a piston smaller than the container holding the sample. All testing was done using the TMS-Pro Analyzer at a speed of 100 mm/min. As the plunger moved down, the peanut butter flowed up and around the compression piston. The samples were compressed to a distance of 10 mm from the bottom of the container. The force required to deform the product gives a good indication of the way a semi-solid food will move and behave under process conditions.