Texture Analysis Professionals Blog

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

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Vocabulary of Food Texture

The chef Mario Batali says that the single word “crispy” will sell a restaurant dish quicker than any number of clever adjectives. 

Picture “aubergines” on a menu. You might hesitate to order them, fearing they would be flaccid or oily, as they so often are. Now think how much more appealing “crispy aubergines” sound. “Crispy” makes everything appear as safe and crunchy as chips.

The word’s universal appeal is a sign of how much we are governed by texture in what we eat. Yet we hardly seem to mention it (unlike in China, where many foods, from fungus to tripe, are prized for texture alone).

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Food Texture around the World

Gristly, gelatinous, bony textures, say in pig's ears or bird's feet, are usually shunned in the UK, whilst goose intestines, sea cucumbers, chickens' feet and ducks' tongues are just some of the fiddly, gelatinous, gristly dishes that are regarded as delicacies. 

In China, kou gan (meaning "mouth-feel") is highly celebrated and texture in these dishes means everything. In Victorian cookery books, whole birds and the feet of animals were celebrated with relish, while in other parts of the world, such as China, foods enjoyed purely for their challenging textural pleasure are highly prized.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Desire to Chew

There’s more to chewing than you might think. It’s arguably the first digestive activity that we bring to a meal, and unlike the chemical processes that occur in our gut, chewing falls under our conscious control. 

But chewing is more than a digestive aid. It also has a potent psychological function that helps keep body, mind and emotions in balance, according to The Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Sensory Analysis and Definitions of Food Texture

The process of sensory evaluation starts with a well trained sensory panel – a group of humans who will judge sensory qualities. 

To carry out a meaningful texture profile analysis, a panel of judges needs to have knowledge of the texture classification system, the use of standard rating scales and the correct procedures related to the mechanics of testing. Panellist training should start with a clear definition of each attribute.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Sensory Analysis vs. Texture Analysis

Sensory analysis includes use of the senses of smell, taste, sound and touch.

Evaluation of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic texture by touch includes the use of thefingers, as well as the lips, tongue, palate and teeth in the mouth.

When producing products for consumers, manufacturers endeavour to offer products with a defined uniformly high quality. As would be expected, sensory methods of analysis are subject to wide variability, are labour intensive and therefore expensive. Alongside sensory tests of products by trained tester panels, instrumental measuring methods are used as flanking measures.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Importance of Texture in Food

Take gummy mashed potatoes, leathery dried apples, and limp celery. We spurn them all, because their texture – the way they feel on the tongue, lips, hard palate, or teeth – is offputting.

Most people obsess over the flavour of everything from ice cream to chocolate – but the professionals, food scientists and chefs alike, know that crispiness, creaminess and chewiness is just as important. Texture is big business and the science of food structure even has its own 'ology': food rheology.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Why Measure Texture?

Texture analysis is the mechanical testing of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, adhesives and other consumer products in order to measure their physical properties.  

It is an important attribute in that it affects processing and handling, influences habits, and affects shelf-life and consumer acceptance of products.

Because of its adaptability, texture analysis has become commonplace in many industries to measure a specific or range of characteristics or properties relating to the way a material behaves, breaks, flows, sticks, bends, etc. Typical texture and physical properties than can be measured include: crispiness, stickiness, brittleness, spreadability, chewiness, firmness and consistency.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

What is Food Texture and How is It Measured?

Texture refers to those qualities of a food that can be felt with the fingers, tongue, palate, or teeth. 

Foods have different textures, such as crisp crackers or potato chips, crunchy celery, hard candy, tender steaks, chewy chocolate chip cookies and sticky toffee, to name but a few.

Texture is also an index of quality. The texture of a food can change as it is stored, for various reasons. If fruits or vegetables lose water during storage, they wilt or lose their turgor pressure, and a crisp apple becomes unacceptable and leathery on the outside.