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Methods

There are seven fundamental methods which form the basis of the mechanical testing for sensory texture attributes. These test types replicate all possible interactions between a consumer - or production processing or handling equipment - and the product itself.

Food Technology Corporation supplies fixtures which are designed to implement each test method.

Bulk Analysis
Compression
Extrusion
Puncture & Penetration
Bulk Analysis method
Compression Analysis method
Extrusion Analysis method
Puncture and penetration Analysis method
Shear
Snap, Bend and Break
Tension
 
shear testing
Snap, Bend and Break
Tension Analysis method
 

 

Bulk Analysis

Bulk analysis testing is used when it is not practical or representative to test an individual sample as a whole or component piece. Particulate products (e.g. reconstituted meats), or foodstuffs which contain small elements in an individual serving or mouthful (e.g. rice or beans), lend themselves to being analyzed “in bulk”. The test method combines compression, shearing and extrusion of the sample.

Bulk analysis testing of a burger simulates bite sensory is mouthfeelBulk analysis compresses and shearsBulk analysis method is ideal for reconstituted meat

 

Compression

Compression testing is a common and valuable texture testing method. Pure compression places the sample on a flat surface and an upper fixture, larger than the sample in its deformed state, is lowered into the specimen. Texture Profile Analysis (TPA), is a specialized derivative of compression testing. Localised compression, with a smaller probe, is also useful and may result in penetration of the sample.

Compression by chewing with the teeth is the sensory analysis for solid foodsTesting bread for freshness uses a compression plateCompression in Texture Profile Analysis testing fully describes mouthfeel

 

Extrusion

Extrusion testing has many applications for semi-solid products. The sample is normally placed in a cylindrical container and an upper fixture acts as a plunger to pass into the product, which flows either back around the probe (back extrusion method) or is forced out through an aperture in the base of the cell (forward extrusion method). Spreadabilty is tested with a conical probe and matching container.

Extrusion method simulates the sensation of handling a flowing semi-solid productBack extrusion causes flow around the probeZero fat yogurt firmness can be compared by back extrusion

 

Penetration and puncture

Penetration testing is very similar to compression testing with one key difference, the probe is typically much smaller than the sample being tested. Penetration refers to when the probe passes completely through a sample (a thin tortilla) or an element of the product (the surface generally, or the skin of a piece of fruit). Puncture is similar, meaning the probe passes into the sample, though not necessarily exiting.

 The sensory characteristics of biting a ripe apple uses penetration testingPenetration or puncture uses a thin probeFresh fruit ripeness test is achievd by the penetration method

 

Shear

Shear testing applies slicing or “shearing” into or through the product, which replicates the action of the front incisors when food is introduced into the mouth. This method also measures the resistance of the sample to being cut by a knife, when preparing or serving to product.

Shear testing of the cutting force simulates sensory input from handling firm meatShear method utilises a blade fixtureShearing a hot dog sausage tests its firmness when slicing

 

Snap, bend and break

Breaking or bending tests are commonly used for hard or brittle foods that snap. Some softer products are also tested with this method, where a degree of flexibility is desired, or intended to be minimised.

Snapping a biscuit is the sensory evaluation a consumer experiencesSnap testing a brittle bakery product measures freshnessSnap testing by 3-point bend can analyze cookie texture

 

Tension

Tension methods pull or stretch the test sample, usually to measure the elasticity or extensibility, and the ultimate strength of the product. The texture analyzer may pull the sample apart by moving the crosshead upwards, or the fixtures may enable tension in the product, even when using the system in compression.

Tension and elasticity in tortillas if the senrory inputTension testing stretches the sampleTortilla tesing by extrusion measures sofness and evaluates shelf life

 

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
https://www.unr.edu/anvs

I have found FTC to be an excellent partner for our company. In particular, it has been especially gratifying to work with Shirl Lakeway. Both creative and accommodating, he worked very hard with us to develop our projects.

I appreciate his commitment to our joint efforts and his open-minded approach. He and FTC have been exceptionally helpful.

Steve Antonius, Del Monte Foods
http://www.delmonte.com/

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