Testing gels?

The Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America and the International Pectin Producers Association officially recommend our products.

Stable Micro Systems’ Texture Analyzers are by far the most widely used instruments worldwide for testing the physical properties of gels and gel-like materials. The TA.XTPlus can quantify the physical parameters of virtually every type of gel. The TA.XTPlus can measure bloom, rupture distance and force, elasticity, relaxation, swelling, adhesion, disintegration, fatigue and many other attributes of gels, pectins, silicones, agars, colloids, surimi, stabilizers, gums, mucoadhesives, and aerogels with a sensitivity and reproducibility that other instruments cannot match. We have many unique methods and fixtures to quantify the extensibility and tensile characteristics of gels.


Virtually the entire membership of the Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America has standardized their gel testing using our texture analyzers. The food, medical, industrial, adhesive and electronics industries use the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer family of instruments to precisely measure the firmness, tackiness, relaxation and swelling of their gels. The Plus is also widely used for testing mucoadhesive gels, medical gels, protein gels, and silicon gels.

"We started with two TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzers fitted with integrated temperature controls via Peltier testing plates. We were thrilled with the support, training, and testing support that the TTC team provided. Very quickly our two texture analyzers were in almost constant use so we added a third texture analyzer to expand our testing capacity even more."

R&D Specialist, Pharmaceutical company

Wondering how texture analysis can benefit your team?

"It was important to get twelve cents worth of gel right or we could incur thousands or millions of dollars in recall costs". That customer statement really brought everything into focus for us as we were starting out in the gel measurement business.

  • Every type of gel is tested with SMS' TA.XT family of texture analyzers. From car companies using precise gels to encase potted electronics for car brakes, to silicone gels used in prosthetics, to bio-adhesive gels used as drug delivery agents, to every type of food gel on the planet. Reliability. Precision. Trust. We are a little more expensive than also-ran instruments - but your business is delivering precise performance to your customers.
  • Every gel attribute or behavior can be measured with our instruments. The easy stuff is quantifying firmness, stickiness, tackiness, cohesiveness, resilience, rupture, relaxation, and swelling. We've had fun tackling the custom behaviors also. How blood coagulates. How quickly gel coatings dry. How well one gel adheres to another. How well super-absorbant polymers perform under pressure. We've developed test methods for every nuanced and custom gel behavior. Just reach out and speak with us about your custom testing needs.
  • You would have thought that testing gels were simple. Far from it. While there are standard methods for measuring gel strength (GMIA) the vast range of gel applications require test methods that go well beyond firmness. Our speciality is helping our clients measure those properties in their unique gels.

Instruments, accessories and application studies for your specific needs.

So much flexibility and so many options. How can I figure out which one works best for me?

Our instruments have the flexibility to test just about any product or material you can imagine. That being said, what are the differences between each of our instruments and how can you decide which one is right for you? Take a look at the differences here using our instrument comparison chart.

Want some assistance in deciding which instrument is right for you? Our team can help you evaluate the differences between our texture analyzers, assess your needs, and recommend the right instrument that will not only serve your needs best now but also in years to come. Contact us now.

Application Studies

Our instruments can measure firmness, relaxation, swelling, adhesiveness, tack, stickiness, cohesiveness, rupture strength, burst strength, and extensibility.

Browse all application studies

featured customer story

It’s the same no matter how you slice it.

A large-scale bakery company wanted to ensure that their bread products had the same quality and consistency. They had a few issues to address before they could meet this goal. Manufacturing equipment was different from plant to plant. Ingredients varied from local suppliers. Yet, consumers expected the same product no matter where was purchased....

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The TA.XTPlus works doggone hard for cats.

A major pet foods company worked their TA.XTPlus non-stop. The instrument performed literally thousands of tests a day on the company’s cat kibble products. The instrument was such a time saver that it was used in many critical business operations....

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Getting unstuck before production does.

An animal health care company manufactures a chewable supplement for animals. Their production process was grinding to a halt frequently. Their extruders were often clogged when the product formulation varied on the thick side. It would take 2-3 days to clean the extruders and get production running again. The manufacturing downtime was very expensive....

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New container spills and R&D cleans up the mess.

A confectionery company was in the midst of developing a new product container for one of their long-standing and popular products. The marketing team was leading the charge and was eager to roll out the new packaging as soon as possible. They soon encountered a big problem. While the new container looked modern and hip, it didn’t work well. It was difficult to open and had the unfortunate tendency to open and spill its contents while in a purse or bag....

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No matter where you are, it tastes great.

A popular fast food company with thousands of restaurants across North America and many suppliers in each region of the country had a fundamental problem. How could they consistently deliver the high quality products that their customers expected?...

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Improving customer relationships with the TA.XTPlus.

An adhesive company had a consistency problem. One of their major customers complained that the supplier's product was not consistent from batch to batch. The problem was creating a bumpy customer/supplier relationship....

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The TA.XTPlus helps new product development 'gel'.

A new startup company produces a hydrogel used during surgical procedures. The hydrogel contains a drug that is released as the hydrogel dissolves when placed on an internal organ. The company was struggling with their testing methods. They needed to determine the strength of the gel for different formulations. The gel needed a specific strength so it would not break while being placed into position. If the gel broke it would not cover the organ surface completely and could not release the drug uniformly. If it was too weak it could not be tested with conventional universal testing machines and ASTM test methods. The company was stuck. They could not move the product forward until they could test it consistently. They contacted our team for answers....

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Seeing great results testing a drug deployed via the eyes.

A pharmaceutical company was developing a new slow release drug that would be administered very precisely via the human eye. The drug had excellent potential to offer a far superior route to the brain than previous methods. It would also use lower concentrations of the drug resulting in cost savings. Eye surgery was required to administer the product. The company needed the most precise testing methods available to test the product’s safety. Their prior testing methods were not repeatable and differentiating enough....

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On land and sea, better testing for a better bottom line.

A major seafood company manufactures a popular fish gel product. The product is graded by quality. The product’s grade dictates its market price. The manufacturer was frustrated with their older Japanese-style instrumentation. Labor costs in the lab were high as lab technicians had to test forty samples to obtain an accurate grade number....

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Freeze, reheat, test, and repeat.

A food company had a successful line of barbecue meats and sauces. They wanted to expand their product line with the inclusion of complementary side dishes. They ran into a few problems while starting up production their new lines. They wanted the side dishes to have a consistent texture after freezing and reheating. However, their testing methods involved having a various chefs taste the product at various cook times. This manual testing was not repeatable or sensitive enough to make necessary changes to an optimal product consistency. Compounding their trouble, they were using unconventional production equipment to produce the products. They contacted us to request a more consistent and precise feedback system that would yield better control on the final product....

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No matter where in the world, it's always a good hair day.

A large personal care products company wanted to measure its hair treatment's effectiveness and validate its marketing claims for smoothness and combability. However, the company's products were manufactured around the world at several remote locations. Consistency was a problem....

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Not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right.

A pharmaceutical company was developing hydrogel-based adhesives. They needed an instrument that would help them fine-tune their test methods. They wanted a high rate of test throughput and to measure subtle and rapid product temperature changes....

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The TA.XTPlus helps resolve a tough (meat) problem.

A raw poultry meat supplier wanted to increase production. They began to produce bigger birds but this also produced bigger problems. The birds came from numerous suppliers and varied in age and breed that sometimes yielded firmer, tougher meat. The firmer meat displeased a major customer. Eager to avoid losing their valuable customer, the company turned to our team for help screening undesirable meat texture....

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Helping trauma center devices maximize healing and minimize harm.

A medical school developed a specialized syringe to be used in trauma centers. Of course, patient safety was their top concern. They first needed to know how much force it would take to inject their product into a human body. If too much force was needed, doctors would not be able to use the syringe. If too little force was needed, the viscosity would be insufficient to perform as intended and dosage control would be more difficult....

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Time-consuming methods become timesaving.

A large seed company was stuck with a laborious testing process for breeding new genetic variations of seedlings. They wanted to find variations that would better tolerate hotter conditions. They tested and recorded manually hundreds of samples....

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Creating the perfect not too soft, not too firm blend.

A shortening manufacturer relied on chemical analysis as a proxy for testing its product firmness. Chemical analysis helped ensure that product batches were consistent, however, it could not give them a comprehensive picture of the physical characteristics of the product. Batches of the product were inconsistently too hard or too soft for handling and product blending. They contacted our team for help....

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A startup produce company grows thanks to the TA.XTPlus

A new manufacturing start-up was developing products using quinoa, a high-protein grain-like seed. Their small team knew that they were launching their products in a competitive market. The texture of their products had to be just right to stand out from the competition. As with most startups, cash was precious. However, they knew that a texture analyzer would be an excellent investment to help them more efficiently refine and improve their products. Quinoa can be a difficult product to test so they needed a precise instrument for testing....

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The TA.XTPlus shows its sensitive side.

An adhesive company developed a special product with very low tack force. The product was strong enough to stick to whatever it was applied to but required almost zero force to pull off. The company needed an instrument that was sensitive enough to measure such an extremely low tack....

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Clogged and bogged by bad dough.

A snack food company that makes sandwich crackers and cookies was wrestling with a production problem involving bad dough. Occasionally dough batches would either be mixed incorrectly or left in the dough proofing room for an incorrect amount of time. Once the bad dough entered the production line, it could shut down the whole line for hours while it was cleaned. The company was losing money from these stoppages. They reached out to us for help determining when the dough was properly mixed and was ready to move from the proofing room to production....

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Putting marketing claims to the test.

A manufacturer of soy-based sushi wraps wanted a texture analyzer for testing the quality of their products. The company prided itself on the quality and freshness of its products and used these claims in their marketing materials. It was critically important to back up these claims with science. They also wanted to ensure that their products were consistently made exactly the same each time. The company evaluated the Brookfield CT3 and was disappointed that it did not have the accuracy and reliability they needed....

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No buyer’s remorse with the TA.XTPlus.

A major food ingredients company had used our older TA.XT2i texture analyzer for many years. While happy with their older instrument, they decided to purchase an Instron texture analyzer when upgrading to a newer instrument. They were immediately dissatisfied. They couldn’t get the kind of data that they needed. The instrument and its software were difficult to use. Support options were lacking....

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The best customer complaints are the ones that never happen.

A pharmaceutical company manufactures a pectin-based gummy chewable. The R&D team ran into two significant problems that could be the sources of future consumer complaints. The product’s firmness varied from batch to batch and the sole testing method for firmness was to squish a sample by hand. The product also had some adhesion issues when the gummy pieces stuck and fused together in their containers over time....

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University department keeps its students in the know.

The TA.XTPlus texture analyzer is a frequent fixture in university labs all over the world. However, one university realized that its texture analyzer was underutilized. Many of the original graduate students trained on the TA.XTPlus had graduated. Newer students didn’t know how to use the instrument and were missing valuable learning and research opportunities. The university contacted us for assistance....

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