Texture Analysis Professionals Blog

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

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Perfecting the Texture of an Italian Meal

Italian food is well known for its beautiful splashes of colour from basil, tomatoes and saffron, and delivering fresh flavours.

It is also very satisfying in terms of its texture; there is a wide range of textures ranging from delicately soft and creamy to crunchy, crispy and stretchy. A manufacturer of Italian food may perform many different quality control tests on their products to ensure textures are consistent and within acceptable ranges that may have been determined by sensory panels or customer feedback.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Physical Properties of Wet Pet Food

There are obvious differences between the processes of quality control in the human and pet food industries, the main one being the lack of feedback from the pet sensory panel. 

However, quick rejection of undesirable food provides enough motivation for pet owners and pet food manufacturers alike to provide animals with the correct food.

Wet foods make up the majority of products sold in pet shops, consisting of meat and liver with a range of other ingredients. The textures are solid, puréed, shredded, cuts, cubes and blends of human food ingredients. These are much more palatable than dry foods to most cats and dogs - neither dogs nor cats are drawn to sticky foods but both show a preference for wet food rather than dry.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Physical Properties of Dry Pet Food

Dry pet food makes up a large share of the ever expanding pet care market, and manufacturers are keeping up with this trend by sinking more of their R&D budget into quality control and physical testing.

For a manufacturer to turn a profit, safe products that pet owners want to buy must be made and sold at a price they are willing to pay. Pet food production must be cost-effective, sustainable, meet food safety requirements and produce appetising, nutritious products for owners to feed their pets. 

High levels of physical quality are important down through the whole supply chain – manufacturer, retailer, pet owner and pet all benefit from careful texture analysis. Texture analysis is important for process control, quality control and product development as well as process efficiency (reducing extruder power consumption).

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Pet Accessories: Ensuring High Quality

Pet owners always want the best for their animals and are willing to spend a lot of money buying brands that make pets more comfortable or give the owner an easier job while looking after them. 

There are many quality control procedures that can be used to assess the quality of pet accessories.

When buying a new dog lead, you may see that a lot of brands are now including a tensile strength rating on the packaging. Some dogs love to pull as hard as possible, and this can be bad news if a strong dog sees a squirrel running up a tree and goes for the chase.

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.