Texture Analysis Professionals Blog

How to measure and analyse the texture of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Measuring the effects of reducing salt in bread

Low salt
Bread always contains a certain amount of salt. However, to keep up with recent headlines advising us against excessive salt consumption and its associated health risks, many bread manufacturers are lowering the salt content in their products.

Salt affects dough texture, making it stronger and less sticky. Reducing salt can play havoc with the production line, but the Warburtons Dough Stickiness System provides a quick and easy test for stickiness of a standard 0.5kg or 1kg piece of dough. It features a sample testing box into which dough samples can be placed quickly and with minimum exposure of the cut surface to the atmosphere.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Low and Light Foods – the potential textural compromises

ermarket shopperFor decades, food companies lured consumers to their processed and packaged products with an
irresistible combination of fat, salt and sugar.

However, every day a news headline appears warning us of the dangers of high quantities of these ingredients in our diets. It comes as no surprise then that ‘low and light’ products with reduced proportions are more popular than ever.

The Consumer Goods Forum carried out a survey of 102 large food companies earlier this year, finding that the number of products aimed to “support healthier diets and lifestyles and address public health priorities” increased from 84,000 in 2015 to over 180,000 in 2016. An enormous budget of $1.8 trillion was set aside to reduce sugar in 2015. Trans fats and saturated fats were also under high reduction pressure.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Developing Vegan Products whilst Maintaining the Desired Texture

Roughly 1% of the UK follow a vegan lifestyle – a small percentage, but nonetheless an enormous number of consumers are represented by the vegan community. 

Even vegetarians and meat eaters are starting to eat less meat and choose vegan alternatives due to increasing awareness of the benefits to the environment, animal welfare, health reasons and simply to keep up with food trends. Vegan food has improved greatly during its rise in popularity over the past few decades. 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Ensuring Snack and Nutrition Bar quality

Snacking is not a modern concept. As humans, we have been snacking for our whole existence.

The Stone Age hunter will have eaten berries while waiting for his next rabbit, Native Americans used to throw their ears of corn on a fire to produce early popcorn, and the first pretzels are said to have been made by a 6th century Italian monk. 

However, along with this snacking behaviour, we also started to eat larger, regular meals a few thousand years ago once we started breeding livestock. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Measuring the Physical Properties of Denture Adhesives

With an ageing population, it is no surprise that there are more people wearing dentures.

Around half of all denture wearers use an adhesive to help with both comfort and confidence. In this market, it is important to uphold standards of both texture and adhesive properties. Otherwise, customers will be uncomfortable at best, or if they rely on adhesive for denture retention, face the embarrassment of dentures becoming unattached during the day should the adhesive fail. 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Physical Property Measurement: Useful hints for conducting fracture experiments

For reliable and reproducible results from fracture testing, some basic rules must be taken into consideration. 

Biological materials are notoriously variable in their morphology and structure. Variation can occur not only at any or all of the hierarchical levels from the molecular, through to material and structural level, but also within the entire test specimen and even between specimens. 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Physical Property Measurement: Fracture Testing by Cutting

Wedge penetration, a type of crack opening test that is particularly suitable to testing fruit and vegetables, cheese, stiff gels and cooked meats, involves a wedge driven into a block of material. 

The dimensions of the test specimen affect the results and so it is important to use reproducible rectangular blocks. This test is similar to a tensile test but instead of the two halves of the specimen being pulled, they are pushed out by the penetrating wedge. The two halves bend outward storing strain energy. 

At the point of fracture this energy is fed to the tip of the wedge where stress concentration is highest and a free running crack starts and propagates ahead of the wedge.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Physical Property Measurement: Fracture Testing in Bending

This is a versatile test and can be applied to many types of products that are available in, or can be cut or shaped into, elongated test beams. 

The most conventional method is a three-point bend test in which the specimen is supported horizontally at either end like a bridge and a probe moving downwards bends it in the centre. As the specimen bends it stores up strain energy, which is dissipated in cracking at the point of fracture.