Texture Analysis for Food Manufacturers

AMETEK Sensors, Test & Calibration has long supplied confectionary manufacturers, and other manufacturers within the food and packaging industry, with advanced testing solutions to ensure end-product quality on the consumer shelf. Its Lloyd Instruments TA1 texture analyzer offers affordable, high performance testing and analysis whether in a quality control or product development.

The use of human sensory panels to determine confectionary product quality is well documented, but too impractical for today’s busy mechanized production lines. The TA1 texture analyzer, on the other hand, offers a quantitative approach, aimed at driving down costs through fast, efficient testing without compromising on data accuracy or reproducibility. Keys to success are its ease of use and high sensitivity of measurement.

The TA1 texture analyzer is designed specifically for routine textural testing and sophisticated texture profile analysis. It features a 102 kgf capacity, and offers a sizeable working area to accommodate both small and large samples. The analyzer accepts interchangeable, easy to connect XLC Series load cells as the load measuring device. Force measurement accurate to +/-0.5% of reading ensures reliable data analysis.

The standard system includes the base machine, drip tray, and food-testing base and probe for routine entry-level application. A wide selection of grips and probes is offered to accommodate any type of test regardless of the type of food that needs testing.

In confectionary manufacturing, Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) is used to measure snack bar crispiness, biscuit crumb strength, sponge and marshmallow springiness, caramel and toffee chewiness, chocolate bar break strength, gel consistency and more. Through TPA, confectionary manufacturers are able to adjust ingredient ratios, assess baking and production variables, and determine shelf life.

Test data can then be correlated against human sensory panels as a final check. Once such TPA profiles have been defined, the procedure can then be transferred to the production line for standard testing in during Quality Control.

A simple change of sample grip alters instrument functionality for greater cost efficiency. Also available are special knife attachments to test butter and cream consistencies and flat ended probes to measure stickiness values of icings and confectionary fillings. Even the snap strength of crackers, tortillas, and fries can be checked with a modified three-point bend test.

Due to its large working area the TA1 texture analyzer can also be used for testing food packaging and other packaging material.

All of the tests performed by the TA1 texture analyzer can be fully configured and controlled using the popular NEXYGENPlus texture analysis software. The software incorporates a comprehensive library of industry-standard texture analysis (including stickiness) tests as well as an extensive range of other test facilities.

Those capabilities include user-defined test creation, data collection, reporting and exploring of test data, video and still picture capture, and test automation and customization.

Test data can be quickly and easily imported directly into Microsoft, Excel or Word using either standard, pre-loaded NEXYGENPlus or by using custom-developed templates within the software.

For more information, please visit www.ametektest.com or follow us on LinkedIn (AMETEK STC) to get our latest news, articles and application notes directly in your feed

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