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Texture analyses designed to maintain consumer appeal

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stable micro systems, Food, Bread

A manufacturer of texture analysing systems used this week's Food
Ingredients Show (FiE) to launch its latest range of products
designed to measure the quality and characteristics of bakery and
dairy products.

Stable Micro Systems, which produces a number of testing systems for food and beverage products, said that manufacturers and consumers were increasingly expecting distinct qualities from their products, from the stretchiness of cheese or durability of pasta. Group European sales manager Jade Bank told BakeryandSnacks.com that in the past bakers and other food manufacturers may have had top rely on human testing to ensure that a product, looked, tasted and had a consistent texture. However in the event that this expertise is lost, or a company expands its operations, retaining consistency in food production, whether for specific national markets or new product lines like diet and healthier varieties, was hugely important, she added. She added that the potential shortcomings of a product can be identified for more cost effective reformulation. This is increasingly important for manufacturers looking to drive product innovation like lower fat, or reduced salt products, that still have the same texture of existing products, she said. To better tap this demand, Stable Micro Systems unveiled its Dobraszczyk Roberts Dough Inflation System, which the company claims allows for bakers to more accurately replicate the conditions of the cooking process. This is done through inflating a sheet of dough under specific controlled conditions to breaking point, the company said. These changes are then recorded by the supplied computer software to provide bakers with data on the individual qualities of the dough. By measuring the stress, strain and viscosity of dough as it inflates, the system is able to better predict performance and gluten quality for a number of goods, from traditional loafs to flat breads, according to the company. The company added that the potential shortcomings of a product can be identified for more cost effective reformulation. Th data is increasingly important for manufacturers looking to drive product innovation like lower fat, or reduced salt products, with the same texture asexisting products, Stable Micro Systems added. Stable Micro Systems also used the show to display its latest testing technologies for dairy production, the Cheese Extensibility Rig. According to the company, the rig uses a fork probe that is entered into a molten cheese formulation. The machine then under specific user defined conditions lifts the fork up through the cheese to ascertain its strength under pressure. This determines how certain cheese formulations can adapt to being used in food formulation, according to the company. As with the Dough Inflation system, the rig uses additional software which can be used via a computer to measure and record variable properties in the cheese. This information can then be used by manufacturers to assess the quality factors of cheese for use in snack foods, toppings or even standalone packaging, the group said. While the stretch ability of cheese may appear to be a purely aesthetic factor, the group claims that processors are increasingly looking to ensure that every aspect of their products from taste to touch are up to standard.

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