Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for Bagels

This study presents a quick method for measuring the internal firmness of bagels, including a simple solution to a common sample preparation technique. The method is designed to quantify the firmness and shelf life of the bagels over time.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for Cake Firmness

This study presents an AIB International procedure for using TA-3 1” diameter probe to compressed 6.0 mm into a controlled cake slice for evaluation of firmness of internal cake crumb.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for Cinnamon Rolls

This study describes the sample presentation and test method used by the American Institute of Baking (AIB International) for evaluating the firmness of cinnamon rolls.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for Cookie Hardness

This study articulates the sample presentation and test method used by the American Institute of Baking (AIB International) for evaluating cookie hardness and brittleness.

Attributes: hardness, brittleness

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Food, Baked, Snack

AIB Standard Procedure for Corn Tortilla Chips and Tostada Shells

This study describes the sample presentation and test method used by the American Institute of Baking (AIB International) for evaluating the breaking force of corn tortilla chips and tostada shells.

Attributes: breaking strength

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Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for Flour Tortillas

This study articulates the sample presentation and test method used by the American Institute of Baking (AIB International) for evaluating the stretchability and flexibility of flour tortillas.

Attributes: stretchability, flexibility

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Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for Hamburger Buns

This study articulates the sample presentation and test method used by the American Institute of Baking (AIB International) for evaluating the firmness of hamburger buns.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for Muffin Firmness and Elasticity

This study describes an AIB International procedure to measure the firmness and relaxation of the internal structure of muffins. The top and bottom of the muffin were removed to isolate the internal muffin structure. The method allows the effects of ingredients and storage conditions to be determined without taste panels.

Attributes: firmness, relaxation

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Food, Baked

AIB Standard Procedure for White Pan Bread

This study presents an AIB International procedure for measuring the firmness and toughness of white pan bread. The method uses a TA-3 1” diameter probe to compress 6.2 mm into the center of 2 stacked slices to measure the firmness of the bread crumb.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Baked, Snack

AIB Standard Procedures

This booklet is a collection of procedures for testing the texture of common bakery products with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. These procedures are used at the American Institute of Baking’s Experimental Bakery Lab in Manhattan, Kansas.

Attributes: firmness, relaxation, breaking strength, elasticity, stretchability, flexibility

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Pharmaceutical, Adhesives, Medical Devices

Adhesiveness of Bioadhesives

How To Measure The Adhesiveness Of Bioadhesives. Presentation to the Adhesive & Sealants Council in 1999. Texture Technologies has helped clients to design testing protocols for a wide variety of bioadhesive applications. While many of these bioadhesive products are common, the techniques to instrumentally quantify their adhesive properties are not. This paper also addresses testing techniques from which the bioadhesive industry can choose to measure the adhesiveness of their products. The paper includes a resource listing of the methods for measuring bioadhesives which are in a selection of published papers. Traditionally bioadhesive tests have involved some defined contact (contact force & duration) with the peak adhesion force captured upon debonding. This presentation discusses the complexity of bioadhesive-debonding behaviors and explain why testing must go beyond tracking only peak debonding forces.

Attributes: adhesion, cohesion

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Gels, Food, Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical

Agar Gel Strength

The TA.XT2, TA.XT2i and TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzers are the most popular instrument worldwide among major manufacturers and users of gelatin. Virtually the entire membership of the Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America (GMIA) has standardized its gel testing on the 5 kilo load cell model of the TA.XTPlus family of Texture Analyzers (which has a sensitivity of 0.1 gram). This study briefly summarizes the standard GMIA method of measuring gel strength. Precise measurement of gel firmness is critical because gelatins are sold on the basis of their gel strength, and the proper formulation and processing of gelatin-based products cannot occur without knowledge of the Bloom value.

Attributes: gel strength

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Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Gels

Alginate Gel beads

The ability of the TA.XTPlus to repeatedly measure the physical properties of very small beads is illustrated by performing resilience, relaxation, and burst tests on very small beads. Test results include strength, firmness, resilience, springiness, stiffness, and energy loss. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer can be customized to accurately and repeatedly test any size beaded material.

Attributes: firmness, burst strength, resilience, instant springback, relaxation

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Food, Produce

Almonds

We tested ‘smoked’ and ‘natural’ nonpareil shelled almonds provided by the Dole Nut Company of Orland, CA for exterior and interior hardness using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer with a TA-44 Craft Knife. The Dole Nut Company evaluated this technology as part of its ongoing commitment to identifying concealed internal damage in nuts. The knife’s replaceable razor blades are sharp enough to cut easily into and through a shelled almond without crushing or shattering it, allowing the nuts’ internal textural characteristics to be quantified.

Attributes: exterior hardness, interior hardness, energy, brittleness

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Food, Dairy, New Foods

Alternative Cream Cheese Spreads

This application study presents two test methods for evaluating the textural similarities between vegan cream cheese alternatives and a traditional cream cheese spread. Alternative cream cheeses are often made with soy or nuts and were introduced to meet demand from people following vegan diets. The texture of alternative cream cheese heavily influences its acceptance as a viable substitute to traditional cream cheeses.

Attributes: Firmness, stiffness, spreadability, adhesiveness, stickiness

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Food, New Foods

Alternative Deli Meat Tested Three Ways

This application study demonstrates three different methods for testing alternative deli meat using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software. The three test methods in this study are identical to the three methods used in the Turkey Deli Meat Tested Three Ways application study. The test results for the alternative lunch slice products are compared to those of the traditional deli meats.

Attributes: Texture Profile Analysis, TPA, stiffness, firmness, chewiness, springiness

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Cosmetics

Antiperspirant Deodorants - Wire Cutting Method

This application study presents a wire shear testing method for antiperspirant deodorant firmness using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, Exponent software, and TA-26 Wire Cutting fixture. The products that were tested are: Speed Stick Irish Spring Original Antiperspirant deodorant, Old Spice Fiji Antiperspirant Deodorant, and Dove Men Care Extra Fresh Antiperspirant Deodorant.

Attributes: firmness, hardness, smoothness

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Food, Produce

Artichokes

Artichoke breeders work to improve ease of cooking of artichoke meats and need an objective way to quantify tenderness. Traditionally breeders have subjectively measured the force to scrape the meat off the cooked leaf – similar to pulling the leaf between ones teeth. These subjective judgments are variable because people do not control pull speed, teeth gap and other test conditions very consistently. Using a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, we developed a method to measure the force to pull the ‘meaty’ portion of an artichoke leaf through an adjustable narrow gap.

Attributes: work to scrape artichoke, scrape force

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Food

Asian Noodles

Virtually every country in Asia has a rich variety of noodles with unique textural preferences. The Asian Products Laboratory of the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Oregon has conducted extensive research into the quality attributes of US wheats for Asian consumer acceptability of oriental noodles. The APL conducts an ongoing Asian Noodle Protocol project for the development of test protocols, standard processing methods, and quality measurements for hard and soft wheats. The APL, Oregon State University and technical teams from Asia also research the nuances of consumer acceptability and instrumental textural differences of noodles made from wheats which are exported through the Columbia River basin (among them hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat, soft white and white club wheat). This application study describes several test methods and protocols for Asian noodles which were refined by the Wheat Marketing Center with the TA.XT2 and TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The APL has determined that results from these test methods correlate well with Asian consumer sensory results. The first test is a Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) test and the second is an extensibility test for noodle dough.

Attributes: firmness, extensibility, TPA, hardness, cohesiveness, springiness, chewiness, resilience

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Pharmaceutical

Aspirin Tablet Cracking

Four tablets were tested to quantify the hardness, stiffness, elasticity, and total work to break each tablet with very good repeatability. The work to break is a good indicator of the cohesiveness of the tablets.

Attributes: stiffness, hardness, break force, brittleness, work to fracture, energy to fracture

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Food, Meat, New Foods

Beef Jerky

Many companies that sell jerky prefer to manufacture a ‘formed’ jerky rather than a ‘traditional’ jerky to achieve production volumes, efficiencies and better control of product quality. It is often difficult to meet consumer’s expectations for the jerky’s characteristic texture. We compared a store-bought formed jerky against a traditional jerky using a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer fitted with several different probes. To address textural properties that are important to consumers we measured the force required to bend, cut and punch the jerky.

Attributes: firmness, toughness, flexibility, stiffness

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Food, Meat, New Foods

Beef cut with Warner Bratzler

The firmness and toughness of muscle and processed meats are critical textural parameters to optimizing breeding, feeding and processing conditions. Consumers evaluate meat as they initially bite and then chew the product. The standard USDA procedure for evaluating beef texture is to shear ½” diameter cored samples of beef with the Warner-Bratzler fixture. This application study illustrates how to use the TA-7 USDA Warner-Bratzler fixture with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to evaluate meat firmness and tenderness.

Attributes: firmness, toughness

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Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Packaging

Blister Packs

Tablet and gel cap blister packages must be perfectly sealed for achieving targeted product shelf life and for consumer safety. Simultaneously, the products must be easily removed from the blister packs for consumer convenience and product satisfaction. Balancing those contradictory objectives is not an easy task for pharmaceutical packaging professionals. We tested the ease to push tablets and liquid gel caps through their foil backing with a TA-XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: Force to Burst, Area to Burst, Distance to Burst, Initial Gradient, Subsequent Gradient

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Cosmetics, Gels

Bodywash Shampoo Hair Gel - Back Extrusion

Viscometers, USDA consistometers, and Bostwick consistometers are often used to evaluate thickness and flow of gel based personal care products. These methods do not always provide results that are both differentiating and repeatable. Particulates in the sample and other inclusions like air bubbles can drastically influence the results. This application study presents a back extrusion testing method using the Stable Micro Systems TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer that is nominally affected by particulates or other inclusions, uses small amounts of sample, and provides differentiating and repeatable results.

Attributes: consistency, thickness, adhesiveness

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Food, Cereal

Boiled Rice

Rice is a popular staple all around the world and it is available in different textures, sizes, colors, and flavors. The textural attributes of rice determine how certain rice varieties are used. For example, rice which is soft, sweet, and sticky is commonly used in desert applications or sushi. Firm, savory, large grain rice is often mixed with proteins to create filling meals. Rice firmness can be difficult to measure. This application study presents a boiled rice firmness test method using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, Exponent Software, and TA-93WST Mini Wire Screen Extrusion fixture.

Attributes: Firmness, Toughness

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Food, Meat, New Foods

Bologna Cut Test

Five brands of store bought bologna with the TA-42 Chisel blade. The firmness was measured with peak force, the toughness was measured with total area, and the stiffness was measured with the initial gradient.

Attributes: Peak Force, Total Area, Initial Gradient

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Food, Meat, New Foods

Bologna TPA Test

Processed meat texture is affected by different ingredients and manufacturing techniques. The parameters of hardness, springiness, resilience and cohesiveness can be well quantified with a Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) style test. This study presents several ideas as to how to conduct TPA tests on processed meats. The study also illustrates the use of penetration distances of 50% of the detected height of a slice (strain) and 90% strain, and the use of a narrow 1/2” diameter cylinder probe (TA-10), a 1” diameter cylinder probe (TA-11), and a 3/4” diameter ball probe (TA-18A). Texture Profile Analysis tests involve (i) compressing a sample either a fixed distance or a percentage of its product height (% strain), (ii) withdrawing to the original sample height as it was determined by the trigger force, (iii) allowing the sample to rest/recover during a fixed time period, and (iv) repeating the original compression to precisely the same distance as the original penetration. Based on the product’s behavior, hardness (or softness), springiness, cohesiveness, gumminess (valid only for semi-solid products), chewiness, fracturability and resilience can be quantified.

Attributes: hardness, springiness, resilience and cohesiveness

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Food, Baked, Cereal

Bread - Crumb & Crust Relaxation

Bread manufacturers release brand variations of existing breads to meet market demands. Some of the new breads are ‘soft’ versions of already established products. The challenge of softer bread variations is that they might relax and lose their shape during shipping or as they are stacked and stored on retail shelves. This application evaluates whether a correlation exists between how breads relax when evaluated on their crust and how those same breads relax when evaluated in the crumb.

Attributes: firmness, relaxation

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Food, Baked, Cereal, Confectionery

Bread Extensibility with TA-226 Tug Fixture

Consumers have different extensibility, stiffness, and softness expectations for different bread types. These expectations change as a function of how breads are experienced. For example, breads that are used for children’s sandwich lunches have a different set of firmness expectations than breads for sandwiches in a premium lunch restaurant. While the firmness expectations between breads may differ, in all instances, bread slices should not tear when handled or when spreads are applied. The extensibility of four breads was analyzed with the TA-226 tug fixture. The tug fixture presents a method for pulling apart products like bread without clamps and the inherent problems that clamps present.

Attributes: firmness, stiffness, toughness, stretchability, tear strength

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Breakfast Toaster Pastries

This study evaluates three methods of quantifying the hardness and stiffness of toaster pastries. The methods that are explored are a puncture method, a cutting/shear method and a three point bend method. Four brands of breakfast toaster pastries were tested using a variety of methods with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The methods include puncturing the pastries with a 2 mm diameter puncture probe, cutting the pastries with a TA-42 knife probe, and snapping the pastries using a three point bend test. The goal of the study was to explore different textural characteristics of the breakfast toaster pastries.

Attributes: Hardness, Stiffness

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Food, Materials

Breaking Strength of Chicken Bones

The breaking strength of chicken bones is often used as a measure of a flock’s nutritional health, especially with regard to dietary Vitamin D and calcium as well as the ratio of calcium to phosphorous intake. Bone strength can also be a measure of nutritional feed uptake and a useful indicator when trying to optimize feed programs. This study compares the force required to break chicken bones purchased at the same retail outlet from two commercial sources. The meat was cut from raw drumsticks and the bones were allowed to achieve room temperature. The bones were then flexed to fracture on a TA-92 Three Point Bend rig using a TAXTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: hardness, distance to break, brittleness, total area under the curve, toughness, gradient, stiffness

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Films, Pharmaceutical, Packaging

Breath Strip Film Disintegration

Two brands of breath strips films were evaluated for their disintegration rate. The TA108s-5i Indexable film fixture was used during the test and 3 metrics were quantified for disintegration. This method is sensitive enough to evaluate the impact of formulations, and consumer sensitivity.

Attributes: onset time to disintegration, time to solid failure, disintegration time

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Food, Baked, Cereal, Confectionery, Produce

Brittleness Crispiness Handout

This quiz provides definitions for both brittleness and crispiness and then presents 6 sample graphs with various curves. The quiz involves choosing which curve is the most brittle and which curve is the crispiest.

Attributes: brittleness, crispness

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Pharmaceutical, Gels

Brittleness of Hard Gel Capsules

The brittleness, hardness and flexibility of hard gel capsules impacts their ability to be filled and to withstand variable storage conditions. Compressive tests on hard gel capsules do not always adequately distinguish between formulations which are known to experience brittle-related failures and those formulations which perform acceptably. In particular, the early modulus and yield strength of compression tests on hard gel capsules often articulate only slight differences between the extremely different expected behaviors. This study examines three sets of hard gel capsules which were treated and stored under different conditions and which were tested using a separating rod method. The method stresses the capsules in tension until the capsules fail, typically in a catastrophic manner.

Attributes: brittleness, hardness, firmness, pliability

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Food, Produce

Broccoli

We measured the firmness broccoli at various cooking times using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and a 2 mm diameter stainless steel puncture probe (TA-52). We intentionally chose not to computerize the testing with our Exponent software in order to replicate possible conditions in QC/QA departments of a typical food processing plant. The broccoli was prepared for testing by trimming off everything but the stalks, which were cut to a uniform length (approximately 120-150 mm) and height (approximately 25-30 mm). The stalks were cooked in rolling boiling water. The stalks were removed using tongs and placed on a cutting board. We trimmed approximately 5 mm off the full width of the stalk in order to minimize the tendency of the broccoli to roll/settle during testing. The broccoli was placed on the test platform, with its flat surface down, within 15-20 seconds of removal from the boiling water.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Dairy

Butter and Margarine - Cone Probe

Three brands of margarine and two butters were tested with the TA-15 45 Degree Cone Probe and the TA-26 Cutting wire. Both probes were able to differentiate each product but the TA-15 Cone Probe did a better job at measuring firmness and smoothness.

Attributes: firmness, adhesiveness

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Food, Dairy

Butter and Margarine - Puncture and Shear

The TA-55 5mm Punch probe and the TA-45 Incisor Blade are used, with the same test settings, to evaluate the firmness and stickiness of several types of butters and margarines. The results were very repeatable and differentiating.

Attributes: firmness, adhesiveness

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Food, Dairy

Butter and Margarine - Wire Cutting Method

This application presents a wire shear testing method for the firmness of butter and margarine using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, Exponent software, and the TA-26 Wire Cutting Fixture. The products that were tested are: Land O’ Lakes Sweet Cream Salted Butter, Shur Shine Sweet Cream Salted Butter, Land O’ Lakes Margarine, and Shur Shine Margarine.

Attributes: firmness, adhesiveness

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Food, Dairy, Gels

Buttercream Icings

The effect of different levels of moisture and sugar were compared in butter cream frosting.

Attributes: firmness, adhesiveness

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Food, Confectionery

Candy - Impact of Temperature

Texture tests for most candies are deceivingly easy to develop, in part due to expectations of consistent geometry for each formed or extruded piece. In practice, differences in shape frequently emerge as candies ‘set’. Some methods are very sensitive to sample shape, size and orientation since different amounts of material are encountered during each stroke. Among those methods are compression, cutting and three-point bend tests. The method that is least sensitive to geometry differences is a puncture style test. While we have increased client awareness of sample geometry, many clients do not yet standardize test temperature, even though their products may have varying textural attributes at small temperature differences. This study uses all four methods on store-bought Midgie Tootsie Rolls and Starburst candies to illustrate the significant impact temperature has on product texture.

Attributes: Hardness, toughness, stiffness

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Food, Confectionery

Candy Canes

The candy cane is a holiday treat that is manufactured by a number of confectionery companies. Their brittleness can determine their ability to withstand normal shipping conditions Differences in hardness and brittleness were easily detected using the three point bend test with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: brittleness, hardness, stiffness

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Food, Gels

Candy Coated Chewing Gum with Audio Feedback

This method looks at how three methods of testing coated chewing gums can be combined with audio analysis using the Stable Micro Systems Acoustic Envelope Detector.

Attributes: Maximum Sound, Sound Area, Number of Sound Peaks, Average Sound Peak Size, Average Sound Gradient, Sound Linear Distance, Sound Jagged-Smooth Ratio

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Food, Confectionery

Candy Corn Tested Three Ways

Candy Corn is closely associated with Fall and Halloween. Wide varieties of brands and flavor formulations are released at the beginning of each season. This application study reviews three techniques to measure differences in the textural characteristics of six varieties of candy corn with Stable Micro Systems’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software.

Attributes: Stiffness, hardness, toughness, stickiness

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Food, Confectionery

Candy bars

We tested three types of store-bought chocolate covered wafer bars and one chocolate bar (Hershey’s KitKat, Mars’ Twix, Hershey’s Reese Sticks, and Hershey’s chocolate bar) using a variety of tests with the TA.XT2i Texture Analyzer. We (i) punctured the bars with a TA-52 2 mm diameter puncture probe, (ii) cut the bars with a TA-45 incisor blade, and (iii) snapped the bars using a TA-92 three-point bend rig.

Attributes: Hardness, brittleness, stiffness

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Food

Cereal - Bowl Life Chex Cereal

Bowl life can be highly subjective and difficult to quantify. This application presents an objective method for measuring the bowl life of three different kinds of Chex.

Attributes: crispiness, crunchiness, firmness

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Food, Baked

Cereal Bars & Granola-Style Bars

Food companies manufacture cereal and granola bars in almost every flavor and shape possible. These products are difficult to produce consistently given their complex mix of cereals, syrup matrices, types of fruit fillings, doughs and other ingredients. Manufacturers typically wish to measure the bars’ hardness, brittleness, crispiness, and cohesiveness. These parameters can be tested immediately after the bars are produced, and on retained samples over the products’ shelf lives. In many cases, the bar texture can be correlated to its dough/mix and the texture of the ingredients (e.g. crispy ingredients have a higher chance of producing crispy bars vis-à-vis ingredients which are not crispy). Crunchiness is also an issue which will be addressed in another application study.

Attributes: Firmness, hardness, stiffness, cohesiveness

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Food

Cereal Bowl Life of Three Types of Cheerios

Cereal bowl life is the subjective length of time that a cereal’s texture stays desirable while sitting in a bowl of milk and it is heavily impacted by consumer preferences. This application presents an objective method for measuring the bowl life of three different kinds of Cheerios.

Attributes: crispiness, crunchiness, firmness

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Food, Dairy

Cheddar Cheese - Adhesiveness

Regular and 1/3rd Reduced Fat varieties of the same manufacturer’s sharp cheddar cheese were tested for adhesiveness on the TA.XT2.

Attributes: Adhesiveness, work of adhesion

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Food, Dairy

Cheddar Cheese - Cut Test

Three brands of cheese were evaluated for stiffness and cut force using a flat blade.

Attributes: Surface Hardness, Work to Cut

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Food, Dairy

Cheddar Cheese - TPA

A Texture Profile Analysis test was performed on three cheese samples at the same temperature. Although all of the products had similar hardness values, they differentiated on the fracturability and stickiness.

Attributes: Hardness, Fracturability, adhesiveness, springiness, cohesiveness, resilience

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Food, Dairy

Cheddar Cheese – Puncture Test

The TA-53 (3mm dia.) puncture probes was used to evaluate the Hardness and stickiness of three different brands of cheddar cheese.

Attributes: Hardness, stickiness

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Food, Dairy

Cheese Stretchability

Stretchability is an essential textural characteristic for cheeses in a wide variety of foods – most notably pizza. A common method for measuring stretchability is for a technician or sensory panelist to lift melted cheese from the surface of the pizza with a fork and to provide the cheese with a stretchability score. The extensibility of cheese is typically rated from 1 through 10, with less extensible, ‘stronger’ cheeses getting the lower scores. The fork method is extremely subjective, and along with many of the other instrumental methods attempted over the last 12 years it is notoriously variable. The variability comes from inconsistent sample preparation, temperature management, inconsistent operator pulling speeds, poor grip designs, and in awkward definitions of exactly what behaviors the scorers should judge (initial resistance, later resistance, total distance, stringiness, etc). Because of the method’s variability and subjectivity cheese producers and pizza makers need an objective instrumental, sensitive, and repeatable test method. Texture Technologies has developed the TA-426 Cheese Stretchability Rig to precisely and repeatably measure cheese stretchability.

Attributes: Cheese stretchability

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Food, Baked, Ingredients

Chemical Leavening

Rhodia Corporation’s Phosphates, Hydrocolloids and Food Ingredients Division (formerly Rhone-Poulenc’s Food Ingredients Division) has conducted extensive testing on the effect of chemical leavening agents on the texture of baked products. Selections of Rhodia’s research on yellow layer cakes is presented in this study to illustrate how the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer quantifies textural differences which result from different types of chemical leavening agents. Rhodia conducted Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) tests, which (i) compressed a cake sample either a fixed distance, (ii) withdrew to the original sample height as it was determined by the trigger force, (iii) allowed the sample to rest/recover during a fixed time period, and (iv) repeated the compression to precisely the original penetration distance. Based on the product’s behavior, hardness (or softness), springiness, cohesiveness, gumminess (valid only for semi-solid products), chewiness, fracturability and resilience can be quantified. This study focuses on hardness, springiness, and cohesiveness.

Attributes: hardness, springiness, cohesiveness

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Food, Baked, Ingredients

Cherry Pie Filling

The consistency of a pie filling is critical to ease of use by the consumer as well as to a pie’s final product quality. The presence of large particulates prevent consistent measurements of the firmness of fillings via rotational viscometers. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer can conduct a back extrusion test with a rounded end probe to provide a sensitive and reliable measurement of the firmness of thick viscous materials. The rounded end probe allows particulates to move aside without negatively affecting the test results for the whole matrix.

Attributes: firmness, stiffness, area of work

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Food, Gels, Pharmaceutical

Chewable Fiber Gummies

In this study three brands of fiber gummies were tested with a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, TA-52 2 mm puncture probe, and TA-108s-Gi Indexable Gummy fixture.

Attributes: Hardness, toughness, firmness, stiffness, adhesion

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Food, Gels

Chewed Gums vs. Unchewed Gums

Many gum manufacturers release products that claim they are long lasting. Two factors usually make up the duration gum is normally chewed, flavor and hardness. Chewing gum usually softens as it is first chewed and after a long period of time it can begin to harden and the flavor wears off. This application study presents a method to test the physical characteristics of gum before it has been chewed and after it has been chewed two different durations.

Attributes: Stiffness, Hardness, toughness, stringiness

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Food, Meat

Chicken - Multiple Methods of Testing Whole & Shredded Chicken

The firmness and toughness of poultry meat are highly important textural attributes for consumers. The textural characteristics of whole muscle meat can be highly variable because of differences in testing presentation, sample provenance, testing location on muscle group, subtle cooking differences between products, and even differences between the birds themselves, etc. Many of these same problems also show up when evaluating the texture of diced and shredded poultry. This application study presents several methods for testing the firmness and toughness of whole chicken breast and shredded chicken breast. Testing was performed with Stable Micro System’s TA.XTPlus and the accompanying Exponent software. Poultry breeding, animal feed, ingredient, and processing companies can choose between the proposed methods and deploy the one which most closely evaluate the targeted tenderness of their products.

Attributes: Firmness, toughness

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Food, Meat, Poultry

Chicken Breast

The firmness of raw chicken breast meat is measured with three different probes. The object was to measure the consistency of the firmness data across the three types of probes.

Attributes: Hardness, Toughness

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Food, New Foods

Chickenless Nuggets and Tenders

This application study presents two different shear testing methods which analyze the firmness and consistency of four different brands of alternative chicken nuggets and one traditional chicken nugget brand.

Attributes: Stiffness, firmness, tenderness

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Food, Confectionery

Chocolate Bars

Chocolate is enjoyed for its distinctive flavor and how it melts in the mouth. High quality chocolate should have a clean bite, tender chew and a strong ‘snap’ when broken. This application study provides several commonly used techniques for measuring the firmness, stiffness, shear resistance, brittleness, and breaking strength of chocolate bars with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: Hardness, firmness, stiffness, brittleness, toughness,

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Food, Confectionery

Chocolate Easter Bunnies

Many consumers may have experienced a chocolate Easter bunny that is hard to break and to bite into. The newest trend in the world of chocolate bunnies is the “breakable” bunny, a perforated chocolate that is designed to break more easily at key locations such as the tail, head, and ears. We compared two perforated chocolate bunnies: Hershey’s 2oz. “Snapsy Bunny” and Russell Stover’s 5oz. “Break-It-Rabbit” to see how easily they broke on their perforated lines, how hard they would be to bite into, and how stiff they were.

Attributes: Fracture Force, Hardness, Toughness

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Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical,

Cohesion of Lotions Pastes & Gels

The cohesiveness and adhesiveness of lotions, pastes, gels and adhesives are extremely important performance characteristics of the products. If the products are poorly cohesive they will spread too thin and not have the desired ‘body’. If they are too cohesive then they may be too stiff and too difficult to apply or spread. If the product does not have the correct balance of adhesiveness then consumers might perceive them as too sticky or too slippery. The TA.XTPlus family of texture analyzers can very precisely quantify relative adhesiveness and cohesiveness using the built-in adhesive test and a variety of probes. Often, however, companies want to specifically isolate the cohesiveness of a product from its adhesiveness. This study illustrates how the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer can be used to isolate the cohesiveness of lotions, pastes, gels and adhesives. The cohesion strength of a broad range of different lotions, pastes, and gels was measured using the TA.XTPlus with a specialized sequence. The cohesion of the different samples was successfully analyzed and differentiated from adhesion.

Attributes: Cohesion, Travel over 120 seconds, time to travel 2.0mm

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Food, Materials, Films

Compostable Food Scrap Collection Bags

Composting organic food waste is an increasingly common practice in individual households and in communities with composting programs. Food and other organic waste typically needs to be stored for short periods of time before being transported to larger remote bins or directly into compost piles. Compostable bags are designed to contain odors, allow evaporation to minimize mold growth, and cleanly hold the organic waste inside these containers for at least a week. The strength of the bags and delaying bag degradation until they enter the compost stream are critically important. This study examines how a starch based compostable bag responds to a penetrating force under different lengths of wet storage conditions, akin to a bone or flower stem stressing the bag from the inside. If the bags degrade too quickly they might weaken and fall apart while the bags are transported to a large outside receptacle or to the compost itself.

Attributes: Stiffness, Firmness, Distance to Burst

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Material

Computer Hard Drive Gasket Material

The gasket between a computer’s hard drive case and its cover plate must provide a perfect seal because hard drives require dust-free and moisture-free environments. An effective seal requires an unbroken gasket bead with an optimized contact area, which is dependent upon a perfect balance between a gasket’s firmness and a gasket’s relaxation. Four gaskets were tested with the relaxation method to determine the firmness and retained energy over one minute of hold time. The data can be used to screen gaskets for their ability to create a proper seal.

Attributes: Relaxation, Retained Energy, Firmness

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Adhesives

Constant 90 Degree Peel Tests with ALIS

Constant 90⁰ peel tests are typically performed with sled fixtures, which are driven by wires and pulleys that must be aligned in an exactly perpendicular manner in order for the sled stage to move horizontally at the same speed that the crossarm moves upwards. The adhesive industry uses this method because the fixtures are relatively cheap and easy to use. Sled 90⁰ peel systems often have difficulty maintaining peel speeds because of how tapes’ backing influence peel behaviors and inconsistently drawn down adhesives introduce chatter. The initial slack alignment also needs to be precise or else load cells may be improperly zeroed and peel angles can deviate from the targeted 90⁰ ideal. Ironically, higher quality sleds with ultra-smooth bearings can be among the most variable because the sleds can move independently from the wire with less effort. The result of these variables is that the tape/plate interface peel is often highly erratic. Stable Micro System’s TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and their Automated Linear Indexing Stage work in unison to eliminate any mechanical issues with peel testing. The Automated Linear Indexing Stage (ALIS) is a programmable linear stage that is controlled by the Exponent software. By synchronizing the stage with the cross arm, the peel angles and peel speeds are perfectly maintained throughout the full peel. Additionally, tapes’ can be mounted with a uniform initial slack force so load cells are properly zeroed and measured peel forces are accurate and more repeatable.

Attributes: peel strength, peel force, jagged line analysis

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Food, Baked

Cookies Tested Three Ways

Four different cookies with similar size and shape were tested using a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer mounted with a TA-44 Craft Knife, a TA-52 2mm Puncture Probe, and a TA-92 Three-Point Bend Rig. The three-point bend rig was best for differentiating stiffness and brittleness, the puncture probe did very well at looking at the vertical profile of the product, and the Craft knife measured the force to cut into the cookie.

Attributes: Hardness, brittleness, fracturability, softness, toughness

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Food

Corn Flakes

It is often difficult to obtain discriminating results when testing flake-type products individually. This application study compares test results on individual Kellogg’s Corn Flakes with results of testing 15 grams of Corn Flakes in a Kramer Shear Press.

Attributes: Peak Force, firmness

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Pharmaceutical

Cracking Point of a Small Pellet

Short case study about how to test encapsulated very small pellets for the point at which they cracked instead of crushed, as they would be with a traditional tablet hardness tester.

Attributes: Hardness, brittleness

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Pharmaceutical

Cracking Tablets

A manufacturer of tablets was finding that certain batches of what were purported to be identical tablets were acting in a very undesirable way compared to the standard performance. Moreover, the different batches were causing radical problems further into the manufacturing process. All tablets were tested on the traditional tablet testers and were reported to be identical in performance. The Tablets were then tested with a TA.XT2 Texture Analyzer to measure any differences in hardness.

Attributes: hardness, brittleness, stiffness, area

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Food, Dairy

Cream Cheese

This study compares the softness and adhesiveness of full fat and low fat cream cheese. Both metrics were successfully analyzed.

Attributes: firmness, stiffness, spreadability, adhesiveness, stickiness

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Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Dental Gums

We evaluated two test methods for characterizing the texture of dental chewing gums with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. Dental chewing gums are a candy coated gum (e.g. like Chiclets) but are sugar free and have been shown to reduce plaque. We (i) punctured the gum pieces with a TA-52 2 mm diameter puncture probe and (ii) bent them using a TA-92 three-point bend rig. We purchased two brands of dental chewing gums, Arm & Hammer and Rite-Aid, at local stores. The products were each approximately 20 mm long, 10 mm wide and 6.5 mm thick. All measurements were conducted at room temperature (approximately 68o F).

Attributes: coating brittleness, hardness, pliability, stiffness, toughness

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Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics

Deodorant Sticks

This study presents a puncture test method for comparing the firmness and grittiness of two types of deodorant sticks. These method was able to discern subtle differences in manufacturing conditions.

Attributes: Hardness, firmness,

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Food, Produce

Diced Cranberries

Quantifying the firmness and adhesiveness of diced cranberries on a piece by piece basis is difficult because of their irregular shapes and sizes. It is easier to test a specific gram weight or volume of the fruit in bulk. This study provides a comparison of using the TA-65 Multiple Puncture Rig to test the firmness of four brands of diced cranberries. It possible to conduct similar bulk tests using a TA-91 Kramer Shear Cell, TA-245 Ottawa Shear Cell, or a TA-94 Back Extrusion Fixture.

Attributes:

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Food, Produce

Diced Peaches

The firmness of peach slices is typically quantified by cutting a series of individual slices with a knife blade. When the fruit pieces are smaller, or have irregular shapes and sizes, a different approach is required. In these situations a specific gram weight or volume of the fruit is tested in bulk. In many cases bulk testing involves more alignment and cleanup than testing individual slices, so it is important to have low variability so the operators need only conduct a few test replicates. The following is a comparison of the four fixtures most commonly used to compare the texture of diced fruit. The four fixtures are the TA-91 Kramer Shear Cell, the TA-245 Ottawa Shear Cell, the TA-94 Back Extrusion Fixture, and the TA-65 Multiple Puncture Rig.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Produce

Diced Tomatoes

Four varieties of diced tomatoes were tested using the TA.XT2 Texture Analyzer with a TA-91 Kramer Shear Cell to determine how well the TA.XT2 Texture Analyzer could differentiate the tomatoes’ firmness compared to the expected differences. The results indicated that the TA.XT2 Texture Analyzer in conjunction with a Kramer Shear cell can easily differentiate between different levels of firmness for diced tomatoes and similarly shaped vegetable and fruit products.

Attributes: Firmness, toughness

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Food, Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical

Dishwashing Suds

The strength and duration of the suds (foam) of three liquid dish washing detergents (Palmolive, Dawn and Joy) were tested with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The test conditions were identical for each product and each test was performed twice with the results averaged and shown below.

Attributes: foam strength, foam duration

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Pharmaceutical

Disintegration of Tablets

Certain tablets must be strong enough to survive manufacturing and shipping, and yet friable enough to instantly release their pharmaceutical ingredients once they are placed in the mouth or ingested. Traditional disintegration tests do not always distinguish among tablets which release their active ingredients very quickly, and traditional tests may not always reflect the real in vivo disintegration of tablets. In order to test disintegration, a tablet was attached to a cylinder probe. A moderate amount of force was applied while the tablet was submerged in a beaker of water for 60 seconds. It was found that the TA.XT2i Texture Analyzer more accurately measures disintegration rates of tablets than traditional tests.

Attributes: disintegration rate

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Food, Petfood

Dog Biscuits

We tested the overall hardness and stiffness of seven varieties of bonestyle dog biscuits with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer using a three point bend test. The tests were conducted for a manufacturer of dog biscuits, and included several brand name biscuits. The dog biscuits were tested using an adjustable bridge (TA-92A) and a rounded-end, 70 mm long TA-42 Knife Probe.

Attributes: strength, hardness, toughness, fracturability

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Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics

Dry Skin Cream and Skin Cleansers

CVS claims on its skin cleanser and dry skin cream packaging that its products are comparable to the market leader, Pond’s. Using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, we performed four different texture analysis tests on two different types of products, dry skin creams and skin cleaners, to see if the products were, in fact, comparable. These tests included a penetration test with a probe cone, a penetration test with a rounded end probe, a spreadability test, and a soft matter firmness and adhesion test. These tests were designed to investigate the firmness, tackiness and spreadability of the two opposing brands’ dry skin cream and skin cleanser.

Attributes: firmness, tackiness, spreadability, cohesion

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Food, Confectionery

Extruded Cheese Snack Testing Methods

This study presents five testing methods for analyzing extruded cheese curls using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent Software. These methods are applicable to many extruded snacks and other foods. The five test methods use puncture, shear and compression techniques to evaluate the products. The tests are all conducted on Market Basket store‐brand extruded cheese curls.

Attributes: hardness, crispness, toughness and crunchiness

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Cosmetics, Powder

Eye Shadow

Eye shadows were packed powders that were delivered in thin containers. They must withstand the rigors of manufacturing and shipping to arrive intact to the consumer. Several brands of eye shadow were examined for hardness, brittleness, stiffness and pliability.

Attributes: hardness, brittleness, stiffness, pliability.

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Pharmaceutical, Powders, Gels, Films

Fassihi Tablet Film & Coating Adhesion

A novel test method is demonstrated that uses a small metal plate that is placed on a tablet and then coated with a polymer film to measure the adhesion of the coating to the tablet. Clear difference are seen between three products with good repeatability. This method will allow formulators to explore the functionality of tablet coatings.

Attributes: coating adhesion

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Adhesives

Fast Acting Glues - 3 Point Bend

It is difficult to test debonding behaviors for some adhesives such as “SuperGlue®”, “FutureGlue®” or “Krazy Glue®” cyanoacrylate adhesives for tack, shear or peel because they cure so rapidly. Their bonds are so strong it might take a great force to debond them in a butt-test style test. This study illustrates how to differentiate the adhesiveness of these products (and many others) by a three-point bend test on a special design of joined material. The test articulates the force required to break the bonds and an element of the flexibility of the bond as well. The method is useful (i) in a time series to quantify how the adhesives cure, and (ii) to determine how these materials bond among dissimilar materials.

Attributes: adhesion, stickiness, super glue

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Food, Baked, Confectionery, Produce

Fig Bars Puncture

Puncture probes can be used to create a textural cross-sectional perspective of many food items, illustrating how they are layered or structured. This application study uses Stable Micro Systems’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software to puncture and analyze two different brands of fig bars: Market Basket and Fig Newton. This study tests fig bars with a 3 mm puncture probe. The firmness and thickness of each of the layers can be easily quantified.

Attributes: crust firmness, filling firmness, adhesion

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Films, Packaging

Film Resilience and Burst strength

Resilience is an often-overlooked attribute of films, tape stock, and backings. Typically films are tested with a tensile test and perhaps a puncture test. While those tests can easily be conducted with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, the instrument also provides an excellent tool for examining the resilience and springiness of film-like products. This study identifies how the instrument can be used with the TA-108s Film/Gel Extensibility Fixture and the TA-8A 1/8” diameter stainless steel ball probe (both depicted below right) to calculate resilience, springiness, elasticity and burst strength.

Attributes: resilience, springiness, elasticity and burst strength

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Films, Adhesives, Pharmaceutical, Packaging, Cosmetic

Film Testing ASTM D882 vs TA108s-5i

A current standard testing method for films like plastic wraps and adhesive tape backings is the ASTM D882 test. This testing method involves mounting strips of film between two clamps and then pulling in tension until the product fails. Unfortunately a wide variety of factors can impact the results including the quality of cut sample edges, clamp type used, parallelism of sample mounting, and excessive pre-test sample handling. Clamps can create weak spots in the samples causing them to fail at the mount, resulting in many replicates which need to be discarded. Imprecise sample preparation can influence the results creating data that does not always accurately describe the films themselves. Because D882 results are so sensitive to sample preparation and presentation it is an extremely time consuming test for operators. Even with the method’s drawbacks, the D882 is a common test that can easily be executed using Stable Micro System’s TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer This application study compares four brands of materials that were tested using the ASTMD882 standard method and also with TTC’s special TA-108S-5i fixture for burst and resilience tests. The TA-108S-5i puncture method excels at testing the physical characteristics of films and better differentiates physical properties of films than the D882 tensile test.

Attributes: Tensile strength, burst strength, resilience, extensibility, young's modulus, stiffness

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Food, Produce

Firmness of Baked Beans TA-93WST Wire Mesh Forward Extrusion Fixture

The firmness of baked beans is a high profile attribute for consumers. Manufacturers can control the firmness of their products using many different methods, however, there are few suitable techniques for quantifying the firmness of baked beans. Testing beans individually via either puncture or compression methods is not operator independent, reproducible, nor practical given high labor costs. Testing small volumes of beans, typically using compression or multiple blade shear techniques are good methods, but the results can be variable because the limited samples do not always adequately represent the full batch. The TA-93WST Wire Mesh Forward Extrusion Fixture can be used to quantify the firmness of baked beans with an easily deployable, highly repeatable and extremely differentiating method. This study compares Bushes Original Recipe Baked Beans against B&M Original Recipe Baked Beans.

Attributes: firmness and toughness

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Materials

Flexural Strength of Glass - Four Point Bend

The flexural strength of glass is the ability to resist deformation or failure under load. This study uses the Stable Micro Systems’ TA.HDPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software to determine the flexural strength of glass panes using a four point bend rig.

Attributes: flexural strength

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Flour Whole Wheat Corn Tortillas

Several different types and brands of flour tortillas were tested on the TA.XTPlus using our TA-108 Tortilla/Film Fixture. The Tortilla/Film Fixture is an acrylic cylinder with a 63 mm diameter opening mounted on an aluminum platform. The tortillas are held down by plates with similar openings screwed onto four alignment pins. Each tortilla was pre-punched with wholes to fit over the alignment pins. The fixture holds the tortillas down in a drum-like fashion to a uniform tension.

Attributes: firmness, rupture strength, stretchability, elasticity

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foam, Materials

Foam Fatigue and Cyclic Testing

Foams can be very complex, with highly varied degrees of firmness, resilience, relaxation, creep, and fatigue behaviors. This study builds on the “Foam Stress Strain Resilience” and the “Foam Relaxation and Creep Recovery” applications and introduces additional fatigue metrics. Foams are frequently deployed in applications in which they also experience thousands of cycles. This study evaluates the fatigue of foams over ten cycles to illustrate how foams behave at the onset of cyclic fatigue. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer can conduct thousands or millions of cycles, so the metrics of this study can be customized to suit a specific application.

Attributes: fatigue, cyclic stability

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foam, Materials

Foam Relaxation and Creep Recovery

As described in the “Foam Stress Strain Resilience” study foams are sold based PSI metrics which are rarely relevant to the complex applications in which foams are used. This study introduces several new metrics that can be extracted from a customized relaxation and creep recovery test. It illustrates the metrics by testing the same foam samples - the Firmness Selector pack which contained eight foams and the Material Selector pack which contained different 13 foams.

Attributes: Strain firmness, instant relaxation, relaxation, ultimate relaxation, equilibrium, creep unload travel, creep recovery travel, creep

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foam, Materials

Foam Stress Strain Resilience

Foams are used for thousands of different applications and can be very complex, with highly varied degrees of firmness, resilience, relaxation, creep, and fatigue behaviors. Single firmness metrics, such as the PSI firmness values listed in catalogs, do not provide enough information to determine which foam might be best for specific applications. This application study introduces a few additional metrics that can be extracted from a simple compression test. The tests were conducted on sample packs that were purchased from an online supplier.

Attributes: firmness, stiffness, stress, strain, resilience, instant springiness, thickness

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Food, Produce, Confectionery

French Fries - Acoustic Testing of Shoestring French Fries

We tested shoestring french fried potatoes with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and the Comparative Acoustic Envelope Detector (A/CAED) attachment. The A/CAED captures the acoustic signal generated by a product simultaneously with the product’s force resistance data. The premise of the study was to determine how well sound signatures differentiate between the degrees of crispness of french fries.

Attributes: crispness, acoustic, sound, jagged line analysis

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Food, Produce, Baked, Gels

Fruit Fillings

We tested the firmness and adhesiveness of a dozen types of thick fruit fillings with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to illustrate a simple, operator-independent procedure for differentiating even subtle differences between fillings. Thick fruit fillings are notorious to quality control because they are highly variable due to inconsistent fruit quality, particulates & seeds, and variable background matrices. These inconsistencies can cause extremely variable viscosity readings. Penetrometers cannot differentiate thickness differences between most fruit fillings. Furthermore, rheometers and penetrometers cannot measure adhesive parameters which are extremely important to control for some end-product applications. The difficulties inherent in manufacturing the fillings lead to difficulty in manufacturing end products with consistent and desirable textures.

Attributes: firmness, adhesiveness, stringiness

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Food, Produce, Gels

Fruit Leather

Fruit roll-ups (aka fruit leathers) are favored for their distinctive textures which combine firmness, toughness, flexibility and extensibility. Variability in raw ingredients and processing conditions affect product texture, consumer satisfaction and product yield. This study demonstrates four different test and analytical methods on store-bought fruit leathers with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: firmness, extensibility, stretchability, stiffness, pliability, tug strength

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Food, Produce, Gels

Fruit Preserves

A major jam and jelly manufacturer asked Texture Technologies Corp to develop a test method for the firmness and consistency of their fruit preserves. Their previous methods involved manual manipulation and visual observations by an expert panel of individuals, however, neither method was quantitative and each involved too much training. Quantifying the firmness of fruit preserves has always been difficult. The number, size, shape and distribution of fruit pieces are usually randomly distributed within each jar’s gel matrix (fruit juice, pectin, sugar and acid). While it is easy to quantify the firmness of the clear jellies or the matrix with standard gel measurement techniques (gel compression or depression, or gel rupture) those techniques are useless for quantifying the firmness of the fruit particulates themselves. It is possible to test unprocessed fruit pieces in bulk (e.g. with a kramer shear cell) but the results may not correlate with endproduct firmness. Firmness is often affected by the production process, the duration it has been in the matrix, and the matrix composition. It is also possible to screen the pieces from the matrix in order to quantify the fruit, although the separation process is awkward and inefficient and often damages the fruit pieces. The optimal method should test the fruit while suspended in the matrix. We used the TA-65 Multiple Puncture Probe to conduct the tests directly into the jars of preserves.

Attributes: firmness, toughness, adhesiveness

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Fruitcake Evaluated Three Ways

Fruitcake is a rich, fruit laden cake that is enjoyed at special occasions and holidays. Many European countries have their own versions of fruitcake, sometimes also known as ‘Stollen’. All of the variants use high concentrations of dried or candied fruit and nuts in a formula with enough sugar and often alcohol to act as a preservative and to provide a long shelf life. Fruitcake has a reputation of being a stiff, hard product with highly variable textural qualities. Because there are so many fruitcake formulations and the quantity and type of inclusions are so varied – even within a single batch – it is an extremely challenging product to profile from a textural perspective. This application study uses the TA.XTPlus and Exponent Software to evaluate how three different test methods handle the inherent variability of store-bought fruitcake.

Attributes: firmness, hardness, toughness

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Pharmaceutical, Gels

Gel Seam Integrity

Two vitamin E capsules were compressed with a TA-4 1 ½” Diameter Cylinder to a height of 2.5mm and were differences were seen in the firmness and distance to break. Suggestions are made for alternative test settings and probes to prevent overloading of the instrument. Seam integrity of soft shell capsules were measured by using a Compression until Burst test.

Attributes: firmness, burst strength, distance to break, brittleness

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Gels, Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical, Food

Gel Strength (bloom)

The TA.XTPlus family of texture analyzers is the most popular instrument worldwide among major manufacturers and users of gelatin. Virtually the entire membership of the Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America (GMIA) has standardized its gel testing on the 5 kilo load cell model (which has a sensitivity of 0.1 gram). This study briefly summarizes the standard GMIA method of measuring gel strength. Precise measurement of gel firmness is critical because gelatins are sold on the basis of their gel strength, and the proper formulation and processing of gelatin-based products cannot occur without knowledge of the Bloom value.

Attributes: firmness, bloom strength

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Food, Baked

Girl Scout Cookies

This study compares three similar types of cookies from the two bakeries. The brands that were compared are Shortbread vs. Trefoils, Thin Mints, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches vs. Do Si Dos.

Attributes: Hardness, Toughness, Brittleness, Crunchiness

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Adhesives

Gluesticks-Vertical Friction Rig

Texture Technologies has developed a versatile, new fixture, the TA-317 Vertical Friction Rig, to measure friction characteristics of various materials with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The Vertical Friction Rig design has been registered with the OHIM. The fixture has a swinging cantilevered arm with assorted mounts to hold the product to be tested and a stationary vertical plate for holding substrate material. Weights are placed on the end of the cantilevered arm to change the applied nominal force between the product being tested and the target material.

Attributes:

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Food, Baked

Gluten-free cookies and crackers

Three brands of cookies and two brands of crackers are tested with the TA-92 three-point bend rig and the TA-25C Crunchiness to differentiate these products on firmness, brittleness, toughness, stiffness, and crunchiness. Since these tests mimic how the customer interacts with the product in different ways, the manufacture can use these tools to fine tune the product for consistency and consumer acceptance.

Attributes: firmness, brittleness, toughness, stiffness, crunchiness, cookies and crackers

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Food, Gels, Pharmaceutical

Gummy Bears

In this study four brands of gummy bear candy and one chewable fiber gummy bear were tested using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, a TA-52 2 mm diameter puncture probe, and the TA-108s-Gi Indexable Gummy fixture.

Attributes: Hardness, firmness, stickiness, toughness

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Food, Baked

Hamburger Buns

This application study uses the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent Software to compare six different hamburger buns. The white buns tested were from Pepperidge Farms, Country Kitchen, and Arnold. The brand of potato bun was from Martin’s. The whole wheat bun was from Pepperidge Farms. The brand of gluten free bun was from Schar. These alternative buns were compared to traditional white bread hamburger buns.

Attributes: hardness, instant springiness, resilience

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Food, Confectionery

Hershey Miniature Chocolate Bars

This study evaluates the firmness of four different Hershey’s brand chocolate bars. The varieties that were tested are: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, and Krackel. The chocolate bars were evaluated with a TA-52 2 mm diameter stainless steel puncture probe.

Attributes: firmness, hardness

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Food, Meat, New Foods

Hot Dog TPA test

Hot dog texture can be very complicated. Manufacturers sell regular and low fat hot dogs which are beef, pork, pork with beef, all poultry or any combination of poultry, beef and pork. Hardness, springiness, resilience and cohesiveness are the textural parameters which are affected by different ingredients and manufacturing techniques. In some products fracturability can also be important. These attributes are best quantified with a Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) style test which can establish a texture fingerprint for each product. The seven varieties of hot dogs tested for this study were all purchased at a local supermarket. The products include Oscar Mayer Beef Franks, Oscar Mayer No Fat Beef Franks, Bests Kosher Beef Franks, Ball Park Beef Franks, Mr. Turkey Franks, Korn King Low Fat Franks and Farmland Franks.

Attributes: hardness, springiness, resilience, chewiness, and cohesiveness

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Food, Meat, New Foods

Hot Dogs

A 2mm diameter puncture probe was used to analyze the skin and interior firmness of nine different store-bought brands of hot dogs. The results were highly repeatable and were able to successfully differentiate similar brands of hot dogs.

Attributes: skin firmness, interior firmness

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Food, Dairy

Ice Cream

The firmness and stickiness of two brands of French vanilla ice cream were compared with a standard TA-42 flat ended knife blade.

Attributes: Firmness, stickiness

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Food, Baked, Dairy, Gels

Icings with Particulates - Back Extrusion Test

The TA.XTPlus family of texture analyzers can very precisely quantify the firmness of icings in quality control and R&D applications. Icings are very sensitive to under- or over-mixing and specific textural standards are notoriously difficult to reproduce since results from traditional viscometer-based methods are often too variable. This is especially important with icings that have particulates. Thus repeatable measurement techniques for firmness and adhesiveness are important.

Attributes: firmness, stiffness, adhesion

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Adhesives, Pharmaceuticals, Materials, Medical Devices

Impact of Material on Tack

This paper covers research presented at the PSTC Spring 2004 Meeting on the impact of probe material on the tack of selected custom and retail PSA products. The PSTC poster included data on the peak adhesive force, area of work, and separation distance for tack tests with different probe materials on different types of PSAs. The probe materials that were evaluated were: stainless steel, aluminum, brass, high-density polyethelene, low-density polyethelene, polypropelene, nylon (6/6), borosilicate glass, and polystyrene.

Attributes: Peak Adhesive Tack, Total Area, Total Stringiness, Adhesive-Cohesive Ratio Work, Adhesive-Cohesive Ratio Travel

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Pharmaceuticals, Ingredients

Individual Granules

The hardness or fracturability of many particles or granules may predict the characteristics of the end products. The TA.XTPlus family of texture analyzers are excellent tools for quantifying particles or granules because of its precision and its flexibility with regard to test settings and test design. Any of the instrument’s load cells (5, 25 or 50 kg) can be used depending on the expected granules hardness. This method analyzes the hardness or fracturability of individual granules to better predict end use characteristics.

Attributes: hardness, fracture, brittleness, stiffness

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Pharmaceuticals, Ingredients

Individual Plastic Granules

We tested the hardness, resilience & springiness of plastic granules that had good and poor flow characteristics with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and a TA-52 2 mm diameter stainless-steel punch probe. The small flat probe allowed the probe face and the base plate to be as parallel as possible. The probe’s small size allowed multiple granules to be tested without recalibrating the probe height each time. For this study we tested the granules directly against the TA-90 Heavy-Duty platform’s base plate.

Attributes: hardness, fracture, brittleness, stiffness

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Food, Produce

Instant Mashed Potatoes - Firmness using Back Extrusion Technique

Consumers want to prepare instant mashed potatoes with a simple an easy to follow recipe. While box instructions are easy, the final result is highly variable because instant mashed potato mixes are too easily affected by subtle changes in preparation conditions, mixing duration, resting times and ingredient ratios. This application study presents a back extrusion method for testing the firmness of instant mashed potatoes that is not only differentiating and repeatable, but also simple, reliable and removes variable influences like preparation time.

Attributes: firmness

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Food, Dairy, Gels

Instant Pudding

Instant pudding is made by mixing milk with a package of dry ingredients. A variety of factors affect whether the pudding achieves its target firmness. When consumers make pudding, they can mess it up several ways, and the manufacturer still wants an acceptable product for consumption. It is possible that the consumer uses the wrong amount of milk (either too much or too little), uses various types of milk or milk-like products, or may not use the full package of the dry ingredients. The consumer can overmix or undermix the product or serve it before it adequately sets. While it is possible that the manufacturer provides the wrong amount of dry ingredient, it is more likely that the ingredients simply gel too firmly or weakly. Shelf life may also be an issue. In all situations, however, retail consumers expect the target pudding firmness, so it is important that the pudding’s firmness able to be measured and consistently delivered.

Attributes: firmness, stiffness

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Food, Confectionery, Gels

Jelly Beans

The rigidity of the jelly bean crust and the softness of the interior when bitten are the first perceptions the consumer has of this candy. Different brands will require different amounts of force to compress the candy in the mouth. The ability of a company to make jelly beans that are consistent is important for meeting consumer expectations of its product, and allows it to differentiate itself from its competitors. The firmness is also used as a quality control measure during production since the jelly beans need a certain amount of cool-room conditioning before they are firm enough to be coated without losing their shape. Jelly beans also harden with time, so firmness is an indicator of shelf life. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer was used to test three different brands of jelly beans to evaluate the rigidity of jelly bean crust and the softness of the interior.

Attributes: hardness, firmness, rigidity, crust strength,

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Cosmetics, Personal Care, Pharmaceutical

Lip Balm Smack Down

Lip balm was first marketed in the 1880s by the creator of ChapStick, Charles Browne Fleet. Over a hundred and thirty years later, there are hundreds of brands on the market. From petroleum-based products such as the original ChapStick product to natural beeswax-based products such as Burt’s Bees, consumers have a wide selection to choose from. With so many options on the market, what do consumers typically look for in a lip balm? Is there a “winner” or does the existence of so many options simply suggest that consumers like a wide selection of lip balms with different features? We conducted a “lip balm smackdown” on four popular lip balms to analyze a few of their physical characteristics including firmness and friction and how these characteristics impact their payout. We purchased four popular lip balms: ChapStick Original Lip Balm, CVS’ ChapBlock, CVS’ Kiwi Lime, and Burt’s. The two CVS products had “compare to ChapStick” on their packaging, inviting the direct comparison. We tested these products using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer in conjunction with the TA-317 Vertical Friction Rig and the TA-52 2 mm diameter puncture probe. The firmness, payout, and friction were successfully measured for all samples. These metrics provide valuable insight into the behavior of these lip balms.

Attributes: firmness, payout, friction, smoothness, slipperiness,

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Cosmetics, Gels

Lipsticks - Wire Cutting Method

The firmness, smoothness, brittleness, and payout of lipsticks are important characteristics for consumer expectations. The lipstick firmness will have a direct correlation with payout. Lipsticks that are too firm may also be brittle and may break in their cartridges. Controlling these textural parameters is also critical for producing consistent lipsticks with new formulations, brand extensions, process changes, and packaging changes. Furthermore, it is more cost effective to monitor textural characteristics with instrumentation rather than consumer panels. Testing was done on six brands of lipstick with three different fixtures. A wire cutter (TA-26) and craft knife (TA-44) were used to cut through the lipstick. A 2 mm diameter puncture probe (TA-52) was used to penetrate into the lipstick.

Attributes: stiffness , firmness

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Cosmetics, Gels

Lipsticks – Wire Knife and Puncture

The firmness, smoothness, brittleness, and payout of lipsticks were important characteristics of consumer expectations. Different methods of cutting and a penetration test determine these characteristics in place of extensive consumer panels.

Attributes: fracture, firmness, shear strength, brittleness, friction

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Pharmaceutical, Gels

Liquid Soft Gels

We tested the puncture strength of four brands of liquid filled soft gel capsules with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer using a TA-51 Wire Holder, which held a 1 mm diameter punch probe. The capsules tested included Vicks (P&G’s) DayQuil LiquiCaps, Alka-Seltzer Plus (Bayer’s/R.P.Scherer) Liqui-Gels, Sudafed (Borroughs Wellcome) Multi-Symptom Cold & Cough, and Payless Drug Store’s Day Time Liquid Caps. All samples were nondrowsy cold and flu formulations which were selected due to highly similar active and inactive ingredients, geometries and soft gel capsule sizes.

Attributes: puncture strength

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Food

Load Cell Repeatability & Sensitivity to Weight Used for Calibration Weight

Stable Micro Systems’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer can be used with the following capacity load cells: 500 grams, 5 kilos, 10 kilos, 30 kilos or 50 kilos. The TA.XTExpress Texture Analyzer can be used with 500 gram, 5 kilo, or 10 kilo load cells. Both of these texture analyzer models are typically sold with 2 kilo calibration weights for all load cells, except the 500 gram model. Customers occasionally ask whether test results would be improved if the load cells were calibrated with forces that were closer to the expected target force. This study reviews the repeatability and sensitivity of the load cells of different capacities and addresses whether sensitivity is impacted by calibrating the load cells with significantly different weights.

Attributes: repeatability, sensitivity

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Food, Confectionery

M&M Candy - Puncture

In this application study M&M’s and Peanut M&M’s candies were tested with a TA-52 2 mm Puncture Probe in order to test the firmness and brittleness of the outer coating.

Attributes: Initial gradient, Initial Crust Fracture, Distance to Fracture, Brittleness

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Food, Confectionery, Gels

Marshmallows using TPA

Three brands of Marshmallows were study using the Texture Profile Analysis (2 bite test). The TA.XTPlus and TPA test is an excellent tool for quantify the subtle differences between brands, ingredients, processing conditions, packaging, and other storage conditions.

Attributes: hardness, springiness, resilience, adhesiveness, cohesiveness

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Food, Produce

Mashed Potatoes

This applications study evaluates three formulations of instant mashed potatoes. It shows how a simple Ottowa Cell style forward extrusion cell approach can very precisely quantify the firmness of instant mashed potatoes.

Attributes: Firmness

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Food, Meat, New Foods

Meat and Veggie Patties

Whether based on meat or vegetables, patties need to be firm, cohesive and tender and not hard, brittle, tough or mushy. The same methods to characterize patty texture are useful for patties of every composition, even though consumers have different textural expectations for the products. This study is a presentation of several techniques that we have developed to help our clients measure patty texture. These methods focus on key properties like edge crispness, core toughness and mushiness as well as overall stiffness and cohesiveness.

Attributes: edge crispness, core toughness, mushiness, overall stiffness and cohesiveness

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Food, Pasta

Method for Firmness of Irregularly Shaped Pasta

The pasta industry has established firmness methods for spaghetti and Asian noodles, but it has struggled to develop and adopt a common method for the firmness for different shapes of short goods pasta. A common method is an important milestone to allow the industry to compare pasta firmness across different formulations, shapes, sizes, and vendors. Among the shortfalls of previously proposed methods are that firmness determinations are too dependent on pasta shape, thus the pasta industry was unable to adequately discriminate the firmness of pasta of different types, production variable, and suppliers. Texture Technologies has developed a method using the TA-93WST Wire Mesh Extrusion Fixture which is easy to deploy, highly repeatable and extremely differentiating. This study presents a method which demonstrates extraordinary differentiation of pasta firmness by cook time within and across brands and pasta shapes.

Attributes: firmness and toughness

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Food, Baked

Miller Short Dough Test

Master bakers have always used the firmness of a dough to judge its suitability for sheeting and rolling, as well as to predict the final texture of the baked products. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer can be used in conjunction with the Miller Short Dough Preparation Set (TA-85) to precisely quantify the firmness of short doughs with an extremely high degree of repeatability. The Miller Short Dough Preparation Set is also suitable for several other types of dough and dough-like products, such as thick pastes or fillings.

Attributes: dough firmness

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Adhesives

Mounting Tapes - Adhesion with Automated Wet-Dry Cleaning Station

This application examines the tack and work of adhesion of two different brands of clear mounting tape. The tapes were tested with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, Exponent software, Automated Linear Indexing Stage (ALIS), and TTC’s Automated Wet/Dry Cleaning Station. Strips of Scotch and Gorilla Clear Mounting Tapes were adhered to the underside of an ALIS TA-303 testing plate. The wet/dry cleaning station was positioned to the left hand side of the testing area on the ALIS.

Attributes: tack, work of adhesion, adhesive-Cohesive ratio

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Adhesives, Gels

Mouse Glue Traps

We tested the stickiness and firmness of four brands of mouse glue traps with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer using two test methods. The first method was an “adhesive” test which applied a constant force onto the trap, and measured a variety of adhesive and stringiness parameters as the probe withdrew. The second method involved penetrating a constant distance into the traps (generating a consistent surface contact with the probe) to measure the glues’ firmness and adhesiveness.

Attributes: firmness, adhesiveness, elongation

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Muffin Firmness & Elasticity

The AIB muffin test is used to measure differences in the crumb of muffins made with two different types of egg ingredient. Elasticity is measured as a factor of relaxation after a set compression distance. The stiffness and firmness of the crown of the muffins is also compared using a blade to cut through the crust and into the crumb.

Attributes: firmness, relaxation, elasticity

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Food, Gels, Pharmaceuticals

Multivitamin Gummies

This method looks at the firmness, toughness, and adhesion of gummies.

Attributes: firmness, toughness, adhesion, cohesion

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Adhesives, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical

Nasal Strip Adhesion

Nasal Strips are a breathing aid made out of a stiff yet flexible rectangular material with an adhesive backside. The strip is adhered across the nose above the nostrils and the material’s spring tension helps open the nostrils. Original and extra-strength varieties are offered by most brands of nasal strips. The different varieties vary the strength of the adhesive and the stiffness of the strip. The adhesive needs to be strong enough to keep the strip on the nose and gentle enough to peel away from the skin during removal. Stable Micro Systems’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software were used to analyze the adhesive characteristics of original and extra-strength strips from Breathe Right, CVS, and Walgreens.

Attributes: adhesive strength, total area of work, stringiness, adhesiveness Ratio

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Films, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical

Needle Penetration

Needles are differentiated by their size, which is quantified with the gage value. A higher gage corresponds to a smaller diameter needle. It is well known that smaller needles penetrate the skin more easily. A method was developed to quantify the difference in force and work of penetration of a range of needle sizes. Three sizes of needles were purchased at a local medical supply store and tested with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: penetration force, work

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Food, Cereal

Notes on Testing Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of those awkward products whose texture is difficult to quantify and is sensitive to differences in sample handling. This application study addresses several issues which should be considered when testing oatmeal and similar products with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: firmness, adhesion, stickiness

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Films, Pharmaceutical, Gels, Cosmetics, Packaging

Oral Breath Strips

Oral strips are small thin films, made from a variety of different ingredients that contain high levels of flavor. Most are highly sensitive to atmospheric conditions and are therefore very well packaged to prevent both dehydration and moisture pick up. The ability to measure the firmness or burst strength of a strip, the amount of work to break it, and its stiffness are useful to monitor production & ingredient changes, shelf life and packaging effectiveness. Five brands of oral strips were purchased and tested immediately after opening the package, and again after 15 minutes exposure to the air. Two of these same packages were retested 30 days later using a similar protocol; immediately after coming out of the package and after 30-40 minutes exposure to the air. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer with a TA-8 ¼ inch diameter stainless steel ball probe was used to break through each strip which was held in place with the TA-108s Film/Gel Extensibility Fixture. The instrument and test method was able to pick up even very subtle differences in film toughness and elongation due to exposure.

Attributes: film toughness, elongation, firmness, burst strength, work to break, stiffness, shelf life, packaging effectiveness

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Adhesives

PSA Tape Testing

TA.XTPlus studies of various pressure sensitive tapes have shown that the TA.XTPlus adhesive test produces repeatable results that better discriminate various tapes than conventional test methods. The discrimination holds true for a large number of test variables. TTC developed new probe designs involving modified TA-57 stainless steel cylinders to include a 1/2” radius on the bottom (the equivalent of the 25.4 mm ball probe used by Avery Dennison with their TA.XTPlus adhesive tester). TTC has concluded that the measured variability decreases when the probe with a radius is used, allowing better discrimination between tapes. Three brands of tapes were tested with the TA-303 fixture with a flat end and rounded end probes. The TA-57R 7mm diameter rounded end probe produced more consistent results.

Attributes: peak tack, work of adhesion, stringiness, adhesive-cohesive ratio, initial stiffness

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Powders, Cosmetics

Packed Powders

A company wanted to test cosmetic packed powders made by two of their sources. Their penetrometer studies were “all over the place” and their sensory panel results showed that the materials were not the same. Samples were tested on the TA.XTPlus model with a 25 kg capacity and a TA-53 3 mm stainless steel punch probe.

Attributes: firmness

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Adhesives

Painter’s Tape

The adhesion of four different kinds of painter’s tape was examined in this application study. The adhesive used on painter’s tape needs to be highly cohesive so that it doesn’t leave residue behind. The tape cannot be so strong that the tape could damage painted surfaces when removed. The brands that were tested were ‘SnotTape High Gloss, ‘SnotTape Delicate, Frog Tape Multi-Surface, and Scotch Blu Delicate. The tests were conducted using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, Exponent software, the TA-303 Indexable Pressure Sensitive Test Rig, and a TA-57R probe.

Attributes: tack, work of adhesion, adhesive-Cohesive ratio

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Food, Produce

Peaches

Texture Technologies has developed a method for testing peach firmness of for the peach industry. Newly harvested peaches can be extremely firm, so a bulk testing method, such as using a kramer shear cell, is not effective. Measured forces with a kramer shear cell can easily exceed 100 kilos. Peaches are also not well suited to puncture tests since puncture tests pick up too much spot-to-spot firmness variability. We developed a cut test on peach wedges with a specific heel width.

Attributes: cut force, firmness, shear force

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Food

Peanut Butter

Three creamy peanut butters were compared with regard to consistency and cohesiveness using a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Texture Exponent software. The products were provided by a leading peanut butter manufacturer who ranked them as ‘target’, ‘soft but acceptable’ and ‘hard but acceptable’. The manufacturer needed to objectively quantify the firmness and cohesiveness differences. The tests were conducted at room temperature in the original jars with a TA-33 probe.

Attributes: Firmness, cohesiveness, adhesiveness

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Adhesives

Peel Tests on Masking Tapes

This application illustrates the capabilities of the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer in peel tests on analyzing masking tapes with the TA‐305 Adhesive Wheel Fixture.

Attributes: peel force, adhesive strength, quality of peel

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Food, Baked

Pizza Crust

Frozen and fresh pizza crusts were tested with the TA-226 Tug Fixture and the TA-42 Chisel End Blade to look at the firmness, toughness, stiffness, and extensibility of the two crusts. The TA-226 Tug Fixture was excellent at looking at the extensibility and stiffness of the crusts while the TA-42 did better at distinguishing the firmness of the two crusts.

Attributes: firmness, toughness

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Materials

Porcelain and Ceramic Tile - Four Point Bend

Tile is a common flooring and siding material used in kitchens, bathrooms and other living spaces. The importance of hardness and brittleness of tile depends on its application. Tile used for kitchen floors needs to be strong enough to withstand a dropped pot but not too hard that it is difficult to cut and install. The hardness of backsplash tile is less important because it is unlikely that it will be subject to any significant forces. However, all tile needs to be hard enough to survive shipping and handling. This study uses the Stable Micro Systems TA.HDPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software to determine the breaking strength of porcelain and ceramic tiles using a four point bend rig. The tiles were successfully differentiated across six metrics.

Attributes: Stiffness, hardness, flexural strength, brittleness, total work

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Food, Confectionery

Potato & Tortilla Chips

This multipart study uses a TA-8 ¼” Ball probe to puncture regular potato chips, “ripple” potato chips, and tortilla chips. Peak force is calculated for all samples and despite the relatively high coefficient of variance the tests were able to statistically differentiate the different brands tested in each category.

Attributes: hardness, brittleness

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Food, Confectionery

Potato Chips

Many consumers associate the quality of potato chips with the firmness and initial crunch of the chip. This application study presents a simple method to test the overall firmness of potato chips. The TA.XTPlus, Exponent software, and the TA-101 Crisp Chip Rig were used to measure the firmness of three different brands of classic or original potato chips, Lays Classic, Utz Original, and Market Basket Classic.

Attributes: Firmness, Total Work, Crispness

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Food, Produce

Potato Salad

The consistency of potato salad is often a source for customer complaints. The overall firmness of the salad is heavily dependent on the chunks of potato in the mix. These irregularly sized pieces of potato would likely generate highly variable results if tested individually. An aggregate sample of potato salad was tested with the TA-65 Multiple Puncture Probe, TA.XTPlus, and Exponent software in this study because a bulk sample can average out much of the variability caused by the irregular pieces of potato.

Attributes: Firmness, Total Work, Hardness

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Food, Baked

Pound Cake Shelf life using Texture Profile Analysis

Pound cake consists of four basic ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar in equal proportions. Commercial products include other ingredients to increase shelf life, lower calories and provide a lighter texture. Commercial pound cakes are also labeled as loaf cakes. This application study examines the textural changes which occur on two brands of loaf cake over a short four-day storage period. This method uses the primary TPA parameters.

Attributes: hardness, springiness, resilience, chewiness, and cohesiveness

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder Attrition

Many powders experience some degree of attrition as particles fracture, shear, chip, dust or wear down during production, transportation, storage and use. Granular, flake or delicate pellet-shaped particles are particularly prone to attrition. Powders may also compress or change shape during handling. Even though powders experience attrition, their change is often not enough to affect the powders’ flowability. Many powders, however, are either used in very precise applications which are extremely intolerant of any attrition or experience dramatic attrition which affects flowability. Measuring a powder’s likelihood to experience attrition with traditional methods has historically been difficult. In particular, generating a consistent work history and imposing a uniform new history has been nearly impossible. Additionally, to be applicable, the imposed work should mimic the aggressive or gentle experience which the powder will experience as it is used. Stable Micro Systems’ Powder Flow Analyzer, in conjunction with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, is an excellent tool to quantify powder attrition precisely and repeatably.

Attributes: attrition coefficient

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder Caking & Compaction

Accurately predicting powder flowability from a limited amount of representative sample has historically been extremely difficult. Stable Micro Systems’ Powder Flow Analyzer, in conjunction with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, quantifies powder flowability precisely and repeatably in a variety of ways. Powder flowability is critical to how powders are formulated, blended, formed into molds, transported, packaged, scaled up for production, dispensed, aerated, etc. Vendors and users alike complain about not being able to obtain consistent, predictable, and quantifiable powder flow measures. For many applications the standard methods of shear testing or using angle of repose are adequate. Particularly for bin design & conveying issues these standard methods have been used for years and can discriminate powder flow differences well. For a great many powders, however, the standard methods are too variable, too operator dependent, and do not adequately discriminate differences between powders.

Attributes: Compaction Work, Cohesion Work

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder Compaction & Relaxation

The flowability of powders is critical to preparation and use of many food, pharmaceutical and personal care products. SMS’ Powder Flow Analyzer is an excellent tool for quantifying flow with volumes over 120 ml, and the PFA even works on some powders in volumes around 25 ml. Often, however, clients need to quantify the flowability of very small quantities of powder. This study illustrates an alternative method which may be suitable for testing the relative flowability of extremely small samples of powder.

Attributes: Powder Relaxation, relaxation energy, powder stiffness

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder Compaction & Relaxation - MCC

The flowability of powders is critical to preparation and use of many food, pharmaceutical and personal care products. SMS’ Powder Flow Analyzer (PFA) is an excellent tool for quantifying flow with volumes over 120 ml, and the PFA even works on some powders in volumes around 25 ml. Often, however, clients need to quantify the flowability of very small quantities of powder. This study of microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel®) illustrates an alternative method, which may be suitable for testing the relative flowability of extremely small samples of powder. The test premise is that powders that flow more easily are more mobile under pressure and will relax faster than powders that flow more poorly.

Attributes: Powder Relaxation, relaxation energy, powder stiffness

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder Flow Quality Bridging

Bridging, ratholing, arching and comparable behaviors are the bane of powder handling and formulating. The behavior is irregular and often catastrophic for achieving regular powder flow. Traditional powder testing methods cannot force the bridging to occur in a repeatable manner and thus they cannot discriminate flow differences between powders well. Stable Micro Systems’ Powder Flow Analyzer quantifies the bridging quality of powder flowability precisely and repeatably. Tight repeatability allows even subtle flowability differences to be quantified. This application study illustrates how a curve may be analyzed for the quality of powder flowability.

Attributes: quality of powder flow, jagged line analysis, number of peaks

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder Flow Rate Sensitivity

Powders react to changed processing conditions in dramatically different ways. Understanding how a powder will flow under new conditions is critical. Quantifying changes in powder flow with traditional powder testing methods is at best difficult, and even then the standard methods are too variable, too operator dependent, and do not discriminate differences between powders well. Stable Micro Systems’ Powder Flow Analyzer quantifies powder flowability precisely and repeatably and allows even subtle flowability differences due to changed conditions to be quantified. This study illustrates how to take an aspect of powder flowability and quantify the answer with the Powder Flow Analyzer. This study calculates Flow Rate Coefficients for a powder’s sensitivity to changes in processing speeds.

Attributes: Flow Rate Coefficients

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder Molding Starches

The Powder Flow Analyzer from Stable Micro Systems, Ltd was used to test several starch powders that are for molding confectionery products. These were identical powder with very different oil and moisture levels. The client wished to standardize the testing of powder flowability to better predict and manage the flow behaviors, cohesiveness and clumping which reduced the efficiency of their production. Older traditional methods of testing powders were unable to differentiate or repeatably measure powder flowability among powders with so much moisture and oil content.

Attributes: Compaction Work, Stiffness, Compaction-Cohesion Ratio, jagged line analysis, number of peaks

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Food, Cosmetics

Powder with Friction Rig

The smoothness and flowability of powders is critical to many types of processing as well as consumer quality. These properties can be measured as the force required to drag a plate over a thin layer of the powder. The TA-265 Friction Rig bolts onto the base of the TA.XTPlus and supports the instrument in a horizontal position. A sled is bolted onto the load cell via a hinge and is dragged along the platform over glass plates. The glass plates are rested on the friction rig’s platform and provide a consistent, cleanable test surface for the powder samples.

Attributes: mean friction force

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Adhesives, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical

Pressure Sensitive Tapes

This application study illustrates the capabilities of the TA.XTPlus in quantifying a wide variety of the adhesive properties of pressure sensitive tapes. We believe that many of the parameters which can be quantified with the Exponent software are not otherwise quantifiable with alternative instruments. This application study uses the same fundamental test to demonstrate a variety of adhesive principals. The basic structure of the adhesive test consists of applying a controlled amount of force onto a tape for a controlled period of time at a controlled speed. Once the duration of applied force is reached, the probe withdraws at a controlled speed to a controlled distance over the product’s original surface. We have used this adhesive test to illustrate the following: (i) differences between the adhesive characteristics of adhesive tapes, (ii) the impact of a differences in the duration of the applied force, (iii) the impact of different levels of applied force, and (iv) the impact of changes in the speed at which the probe withdraws from the adhesive. Twelve types of tape were tested to demonstrate the effect of varying the contact time of the applied force, varying the applied force, and varying the withdraw speeds. All of these parameters are controllable by the TA.XTPlus and can impact results of PSA tests.

Attributes: peak tack, work of adhesion, stringiness, adhesive-cohesive ratio, initial stiffness

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Food, Meat

Redesigned Warner‐Bratzler Fixture for TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer

Meat product texture can be quantified using SMS’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The Warner-Bratzler shear tests use (i) a standard blade shape, (ii) a calibratable instrument, (iii) standard sample preparation and handling protocols, and (iv) operator diligence in following those protocols.

Attributes: Firmness, toughness

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Adhesives

Reusable Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Putty

Many types of tapes, glues, and pushpins are commonly used to attach posters and decorations to walls. However these methods can damage the mounted objects, the walls and painted finishes. Pressure sensitive putty-like products are also known as adhesive tack or sticky tack. The products are advertised as a substitute for hanging posters and decorations using a non-destructive method. Adhesive tack is a putty-type material that is torn into small pieces that can be kneaded into almost any shape and is used to hold corners of posters, photographs or other objects to walls. Manufacturers claim that sticky tack is repositionable, reusable, versatile, clean, and safe. This application study compares the tack, work of adhesion and stringiness of two different brands of sticky tack: Blu Tack Adhesive Tack and Sellotac Sticky Tack. The brass face of the TA-303 Indexable Tack Fixture was used with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to hold the adhesive tack in place during testing.

Attributes: peak tack, work of adhesion, distance to separation, initial stiffness

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Adhesives

Revisiting Dynamic Lap Shear Method for Evaluating Tapes

For many decades the Static Holding Power test has been the accepted method of evaluating the shear resistance of a pressure sensitive adhesive. This classic method tends not only to give variable results, but they are then reported in mixed units, either as time to fall, or the amount of movement in a given time, making comparisons difficult. What is proposed in the conversion of this test to a dynamic one, by determining the force required to disentangle the molecular structure at a very slow rate. The proposed method is fully explained and examples given. The lap shear test is performed on the TA.XTPlus with constant data collection to generate many more attributes than available with the traditional method. Characteristics of individual adhesives were easily differentiated.

Attributes: Intercept Time, Force at Intercept, Distance at Intercept, Peak Force, Distance at Peak Force, Distance to Initiate Shear, Complete Area of Work

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Food, Baked, Cereal, Confectionery

Rice Crisps - Firmness Crispiness and Crunchiness

It is difficult to quantify the firmness, crispiness and/or crunchiness of products with highly variable geometries (crisps, flakes, chips, extruded snacks, etc). R&D departments often try to measure individual components, but doing so is highly impractical due to the amount of time required to test them individually, sample handling issues, and high variability. Bulk tests methods which are accurate enough to discern small, subtle crispiness and crunchiness differences are important. The usual techniques for testing bulk samples of highly variable products range from compressing a small grouping of them against a platform or into a container, or shearing them in a Kramer Shear Cell. The most repeatable may be the Kramer Shear Cell, but it can be so awkward to use that too few test replicates are conducted. Additionally, a Kramer Shear Cell does not delineate crispiness and crunchiness as well as it does firmness. Texture Technologies Corp developed the TA-65 Multiple Puncture Rig for use on Stable Micro Systems’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. This study on bulk samples of three brands of Rice Crisps illustrates how SMS’ Exponent software can quantify firmness, crispness and crunchiness.

Attributes: firmness, crispiness, crunchiness, bulk testing

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Adhesives

Rubber Cement

Elasticity and stringiness are high-profile characteristics of the adhesive bond of rubber cement. These parameters are difficult to measure with most conventional adhesive testing means. We have modified a butt-test method with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to quantify all adhesive characteristics of rubber cements. A time series of this test is a very effective manner to quantify how these rubber cements cure.

Attributes: slope to peak force, peak force, work of adhesion, stringiness, distance to complete separation

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Materials

Rubber Erasers - Consistency

Our clients occasionally seek cheap, easily available products that might serve as firmness benchmarks for their test methods and which can be replicated across multiple locations. The gel industry occasionally uses metal Bloom strips which are typically deflected 4 mm with a ½” cylinder, but that technique does not translate very well to other test methods and Bloom strips can develop a history if not properly stored and used. Other industries use mounted springs, which can be as repeatable as Bloom strips, however, it is nearly impossible to get a set of springs that behave identically within an acceptable tolerance. The optimal benchmark would have to be extremely repeatable between products and must be insensitive to storage conditions and age. Our clients have considered using rubber erasers because of their highly uniform and consistent appearance. This study uses two test methods to evaluate whether rubber erasers are suitable to serve as a benchmark test product.

Attributes: peak force, total area, resilience

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Pharmaceutical

SMS Controlled Release Applications

Using the TA.XT2i Texture Analyzer in Controlled Release Applications: Tablet Coating Adhesion, Transdermal Delivery Patches, Bioadhesion, Inhalation Drug Delivery, Implant Rupture Force and Elasticity Properties, and Swelling and Disintegration.

Attributes: Adhesion, hardness, rupture, firmness, swelling, disintegration

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Adhesives

SMS Loop Tack Test

FINAT method 9 is adapted to the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The “quick tack” of pressure sensitive tapes is compared with high speed data acquisition and automatic data analysis. The effects of different adhesives on similar backing materials and the same adhesive on different backing materials can be quickly determined.

Attributes: Quick Stick

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Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics

SMS Tablet Granules

The strength of fine tablet particles and granules were measured by compressing the granules to a uniform thickness. Individual granules or a monolayer of particles can be nicely characterized using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: Hardness

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Food

Salad Dressings

Several different formulations of the same salad dressing were tested on the TA.XT2. The test consisted of penetrating into a jar of the salad dressing with the TA-4 11/2” diameter acrylic cylinder probe, the jar had an opening of approximately 42 mm, allowing for back extrusion to occur.

Attributes: Consistency, firmness

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Food, Confectionery, Adhesives

Salt Adhesion to Pretzels

Salt crystals are added to a number of baked products to add a burst of flavor during consumption. Typically, a large number of salt crystals fall off of the product during shipping and handling and locate at the bottom of the packaging. A measure of the adhesion of the remaining crystals would provide a basis for research to strengthen the bond of the salt to the product to increase customer satisfaction and reduce waste.

Attributes: Stiffness, work, firmness

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Materials, Adhesives

Sealants & Caulking for Bath and Kitchen

This study presents a method for determining the firmness and adhesive characteristics of sealants and caulking. Four common brands of sealant and caulking were tested over six hours as they set. Clear differences were seen in both firmness and adhesion between brands as well as during the setting process.

Attributes: Firmness, tack, adhesion, resilience

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Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical

Shampoo and Body Wash - Syringeability

Viscometers are designed to evaluate the thickness and flow of liquid based products. Viscometers, however, do not always provide results that are both differentiating and repeatable. Particulates in the sample, adhesion, variable solids content, separation and other inclusions can all drastically influence the results. Commonly used tests like Zahn cups do not always provide differentiating data that can tell subtle differences in formula or production methods. This application study presents a syringe testing method for evaluating the thickness and flow of liquid based materials using Stable Micro System’s TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software. This method is relatively unaffected by small particulates or separation, uses a small amount of sample, is easily executed, requires minimal clean up, and provides differentiating and repeatable results.

Attributes: extrusion force

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Food, Produce, Confectionery

Shoestring French Fries

On behalf of a major food processor we tested two batches of shoe-string french fried potatoes with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The batches of french fries were identical (in variety and handling) except for a slight difference in how the cut potatoes were processed. The goal of the testing was to examine expected differences in crust hardness due to the different processing techniques. We conducted the following tests: (i) puncture of individual french fries with a 2 mm diameter stainless steel TA-52 puncture probe, (ii) cut through seven french fries simultaneously with a TA-42 knife probe with a 45o chisel blade, and (iii) cut through sixteen french fries simultaneously with the same TA-42 knife blade.

Attributes: crust hardness, crispness, interior firmness

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Gels, Pharmaceutical

Silicon Gels

Silicone gels are used for hundreds of applications, so instrumental and test design flexibility is required to meaningfully quantify their physical characteristics. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer (with a 5-kg capacity load cell & 0.1-g sensitivity) is an excellent tool for quantifying silicone gels because of its precision and its flexibility with regard to test settings and test design. This study shows how silicone gels can be tested with a TA-8 ¼” diameter stainless-steel ball probe directly in small vials which are mounted on the TA-90 Heavy-Duty platform. Other common probes are 5 mm diameter ball probes (TA-8B) or TA-10 ½” diameter acrylic cylinder probes. The study shows how silicone gels are tested for firmness, burst, relaxation, adhesiveness/tack, resilience, stringiness, and extensibility.

Attributes: firmness, burst, relaxation, adhesiveness/tack, resilience, stringiness, extensibility.

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Pharmaceutical

Small Pellets - Cracking Point

This study describes a method for cracking small pellets. Small pellets are often crushed but the sensitivity of the TA can analyze the initial crack. A pharmaceutical manufacturer was making a series of small pellets with a diameter of 0.2 mm with a very powerful active ingredient encapsulated within the shell. It was also making pellets of different outside hardnesses and it was necessary for them to measure the point at which the pellet cracked, not crushed as is the results with a traditional pill hardness tester. A TA.XTPlus texture Analyzer with a 30 kg capacity and 1 g sensitivity was used for the test.

Attributes: Cracking force, distance to first crack, initial gradient

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Cosmetics

Soap Bars - Cleansing & Moisturizing

There are a variety of personal cleaning bar products on the market. Some are called “soap” whereas others are labeled as “cleansing” or “moisturizing” bars. The firmness of cleansing bars affects consumer judgments as to the ‘feel’ of the product, the payout per use and the products’ longevity in the soap dish. The target firmness of each bar is a function of its ingredients and manufacturing conditions. Breakage during manufacturing, distribution and shelf life may also be related to how firm or stiff the products are. This study illustrates how to measure the initial stiffness and firmness of cleansing and moisturizing bars for R&D and QC/QA departments which need a method for designing and manufacturing their own products.

Attributes: Initial Stiffness, firmness

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Cosmetics

Soap Bars - Puncture

We tested six different brands of soap bars with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer using the TA‐52 2 mm diameter punch probe. The objective of this test was to measure the hardness, brittleness and internal consistency of soap bars. The tests were done on bath bars of varying ages and types.

Attributes: initial stiffness, hardness, brittleness, internal consistency

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Materials, Adhesives

Solder Paste Tack

The TA.XT2i/HR Texture Analyzer can be used to conduct any of the ANSI, J-STD, MIL or IPC tests on solder paste adhesiveness and firmness. Most solder paste problems will relate either to poor shelf life, print life, and stencil life or to the effects of improper storage or sample handling. The adhesive performance of solder paste is also notoriously difficult to optimize with respect to matching the best solder paste (lead, no-lead, water soluble, semi-aqueous, etc) with its application, manufacturing process and chip sizes. Standard methods of Tack testing only records the peak force which does not always correlate with performance. Within this study we evaluate solder paste using a true adhesion test to measure tack, area, total distance to separate, and slopes for a more complete understanding of the paste.

Attributes: Adhesion, tack, work of adhesion

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Food, Dairy

Sour Creams

In this study a regular and light sour cream were subjected to a cycling agitation test with a ball probe and a penetration test with a cone probe in order to measure firmness, breakdown, and relaxation of the sour creams.

Attributes: Firmness, firmness breakdown

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Food, Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical

Spreadability

We often get requests for measuring the spreadability of food products such as butters, spreads, peanut butter, margarines, cheese, and cream cheese, as well as non-food items such as lotions, creams, gel shaving creams, joint compound, greases, etc. We recently developed a fixture designed to isolate spreadability. The rig is called the TA-425 TTC Spreadability Fixture™ (patent applied for) and is a set of precisely matched male and female acrylic 90o cones. The cones then are pressed together and the spreadability of the material is analyzed.

Attributes: spreadability

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Cosmetics, Personal Care, Pharmaceutical, Food

Stickiness of Creams and Ointments

Three creams formulations were tested with a TA-30 3” Diameter Plate with adhesive test settings. Clear differences were seen in the tackiness, work-of-adhesion, and the initial gradient on the compression. In a study to test the ability of the TA.XTPlus to effectively test the stickiness of creams and ointments, it was found that the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer was able to quantify the tackiness of the tested creams and ointments.

Attributes: stickiness, tackiness, work of adhesion

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Food, Produce

Strawberries.pdf

The firmness of many types of whole or diced fruit has traditionally been measured with Kramer Shear Cells where sets of blades are passed through a box with a slotted bottom. The TA-91 Kramer Shear Cell generates slightly lower coefficients of variation but also generate high force loads and require more clean up between tests than the puncture rig. A similar new method uses the TA-65 Multiple Puncture Probe. Both fixtures provide comparable results on whole or diced products when used with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. To demonstrate the comparability of the results this study uses both fixtures with fresh strawberries. Both methods proved to be quite capable of testing fresh fruit like strawberries.

Attributes: firmness, toughness, area of work

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Food, Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical

Stringiness and Spreadability

A variety of products (creams, lotions, pastes, adhesives, gels, compounds, shortenings, etc.) behave very oddly with regard to their firmness, spreadability, adhesiveness, cohesiveness & stringiness. The irregular characteristics are often related to complex shear behaviors or gel matrices and these behaviors do not always correlate well with firmness. We developed the TA-425 TTC Spreadability Fixture™ to quantify these parameters with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer.

Attributes: Firmness, spreadability, stringiness, adhesion

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Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical

Suppositories

Traditionally it has been very difficult to quantify and compare suppository texture between products because of differences in product sizes, geometries, packaging and layering behaviors. Suppository texture is important for (i) optimized comfort or breakage prevention during insertion and (ii) minimized negative consumer perception when the texture is soft and mushy or too hard. We have developed a test method using the TA.XT2i Texture Analyzer that allows accurate comparisons to be made across a wide variety of suppository types.

Attributes: firmness, skin strength,

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Food, Gels

Surimi

Seven different treatment of surimi samples were tested with a 5mm diameter probe simultaneously with a RheoTex and the peak force, distance to peak, and gel strength were measured for each sample. The TA.XT2 results were very comparable but more repeatable than the Rheotex results.

Attributes: peak gram force, distance to rupture, gel strength

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Pharmaceutical

Swelling

The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer from Stable Micro Systems can very precisely quantify swelling and disintegration behaviors of almost any type of product. Swelling applications include tablets, gels, films, pellets, mucosal tissues, super-absorbent polymers, sponges, aquaculture feed, chemical and yeast leavened products, etc. Disintegration behaviors are common for fast- disintegration tablets, powder cakes, detergents, aquaculture feeds, etc. Swelling and disintegration are measured with highly similar test settings. Materials that swell when exposed to moisture or otherwise activated can be characterized with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. Different methods of mounting samples may be required, depending the sample characteristics or geometry. The swelling can be determined by either distance or force measurements.

Attributes: swell time, swell rate, swell amount

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Pharmaceutical

Syringability

This study describes a method for measuring the force is required to expel material from a syringe. The TA.XTPlus was used to easily generate results that were extremely repeatable and differentiating. The ease with which injectable pharmaceuticals flow out a syringe and through a needle determines how easily the preparation can be administered, impacts patient comfort during injection and affects how the material is received when deposited under the skin. This “syringability” can easily be measured by pushing down on a filled syringe piston with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and recording its resistance to compression. In this study the force required to express three liquids from a 3 cc disposable syringe out a 22 gauge needle was precisely quantified and compared.

Attributes: syringability, syringe force, syringe friction, syringe stiction

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Materials

TAXTPlus Correlation With Durometer

The hardness of many polymer, plastic and rubber products is measured with indentation durometers. Durometers have an exposed indentor steel pin that penetrates into the sample when the durometer’s flat section is pressed firmly against the sample. Durometers have several shape indentors. The Type A indentor tip has an exposed 2.50 mm section with a 35 degree conical shape and a 0.79mm flat tip. The Type D indentor tip has an exposed section of 2.50 mm with a 30 degree conical shape and a 0.10 mm flat tip. Durometer readings are sensitive to several factors. Among them are the indentation speed, the duration that the pin is pressed against the sample before taking the reading, the internal and surface homogeneity of the sample, and whether the response is close to the lower or upper ends of the durometer’s range. This study proposes an analytical method to use a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to conduct Shore Type D durometer tests.

Attributes: durometer

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Pharmaceutical

Tablet Hardness with Ball Probe

Most pharmaceutical companies use conventional tablet hardness instruments to measure the compaction of different tablet formulations. These instruments typically compress a tablet until it fractures to disintegration and capture the maximum hardness. Compressive hardness can also be highly variable, making it difficult to statistically differentiate between similar products with known formulation or process differences. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer quantifies the complete deformation of tablet hardness tests, including a profile of the tablet’s first failure and the distance at which that failure occurs. This information is different than the ultimate compressive hardness and allows the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to quantify physical properties which are not quantifiable with alternative instruments. The tests described in this study were conducted on tablets which were supplied by two major pharmaceutical companies. For one firm the tablets were identical formulations with compaction levels of 17 KN, 20 KN and 23 KN. The other firm’s tablets were also identical and formed under two different lower KN compaction loads. With both companies the traditional instruments could not differentiate between the tablets

Attributes: Cracking force, distance to first crack, initial gradient

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Taco Shells - Three Point Bend

A co-packer’s taco shells were tested using product produced at two different plants using two different formulations. Tests using the three-point bend fixture showed differences in firmness and fracturability.

Attributes: hardness, fracture force

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Tacos - Puncture & Hinge

Five brands of taco shells were tested by puncture with the chip fixture and the taco hinges with the TA-42 Knife probe. The ball probe was able to determine the strength and fracturability of the shell while the TA-42 Knife probe was able to determine the brittleness and strength of the hinge.

Attributes: hardness, fracture force, crispness, brittleness, hinge strength

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Texas A&M Techniques for Alkaline Cooked Corn Products

Texture Technologies collaborated with the Cereal Quality Laboratory part of the Soils & Crop Sciences Department of Texas A & M University in order to develop a guide to testing alkaline cooked (nixtamalized) corn products. The results was a 40 page booklet illustrating methods for testing everything from nixtamal, to masa, to tortillas and even tortilla chips. The methods include sample presentation, test settings, and the recommended analytical metrics.

Attributes: hardness, fracture force, crispness, brittleness, adhesiveness, stringiness

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Food

Toast - Crispness and Crunchiness

Current testing methods and analysis for the crispness and crunchiness of toasted products do not accurately replicate the end user experience. Compression tests do not substantially break the toasted surface and the pillow effect of the untoasted middle masks the fracture patterns that a user experiences. Shearing and puncture tests only stress a narrow cross section and are not representative of the product. This TA.XTPlus application study presents an advancement of the testing method and analysis for toasted products. This new method and analysis is applicable to manufacturers of bread, shelf stable toast, appliances, and even those studying Maillard reaction and how to reduce acrylamide without negatively impacting consumer’s textural evaluations. The probe used in this study is from the TA-25C Crunchiness Fixture Set.

Attributes: Crispness, Crunchiness, firmness, toughness

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Food

Tofu with Knife Blade

Consumers have clear expectations about the texture of the tofu which they use in their salads, oriental foods and other menus items. Among tofu’s key textural parameters are surface firmness and pliability and interior firmness. While manufacturers sell many different styles of tofu, it is often difficult to consistently produce the same style with the same texture. The industry’s quality control issues are whether it ships tofu which might have drifted from normal consumer expectations for that style, and how can it quantify the texture? We tested several different styles of tofu by the same manufacturer with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The tofus were tested in the plastic containers in which they were sold in supermarkets and health food stores after excess water had been drained. The test consisted of penetrating 20 mm into the tofu at a test speed of 2.0 mm/second with a TA-43 knife blade (3 mm thick, 68 mm wide with a flat end).

Attributes: Firmness, area of work, stiffness

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Food

Tofu with Many Probes

To illustrate the types of issues highlighted by different probes we tested tofu with a variety of common probes attached to the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. The tofu was tested in the plastic containers in which it was sold in supermarkets and health food stores after excess water had been drained. The probes we used were a TA-52 2 mm diameter stainless steel puncture probe, a TA-8 ¼” diameter stainless steel ball probe, a TA-18 ½” diameter stainless steel ball probe, a TA-2 60 degree acrylic cone probe, a TA-10 ½” diameter acrylic cylinder, a TA-11 1” diameter acrylic cylinder, a TA-42 knife with a 45 degree chisel blade (3 mm thick and 68 mm wide), and a TA-43 knife blade with a flat end (3 mm thick, 68 mm wide).

Attributes: Firmness, area of work, stiffness

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Food, Produce

Tomato Ketchup - Back Extrusion

Three styles of tomato ketchup were tested on the TA.XTPlus using back extrusion technique and a TA-25 2” diameter cylinder probe. The adhesiveness and consistency of each ketchup were tested. It was found that the overall behaviors of the ketchups were close enough that a consumer would have a hard time noticing a significant difference between the products. These differences were detected by the testing fixtures. The TA.XTPlus and TA-25 2” diameter cylinder provides ketchup manufacturers the ability to test the consistency and firmness of their products in a simple, reliable, differentiating and repeatable way. Requiring a small sample size, this method takes away most human error and is not affected by small particulate or separation interference.

Attributes: Firmness, area of work,extrusion force

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Food, Produce

Tomato Pasta Sauce - Back Extrusion

Viscometers, USDA consistometers, and Bostwick consistometers are often used to evaluate firmness of tomato based products. These methods do not always provide results that are both differentiating and repeatable. Particulates in the sample, oil separation and other inclusions can all drastically influence the results. This application study presents a back extrusion testing method that is nominally affected by particulates or separation, uses small amounts of sample, and provides differentiating and repeatable results. Three brands of tomato pasta sauce, Prego, Ragu and Shur Shine, were tested on the TA.XTPlus using a back extrusion technique and a TA-25 2” diameter cylinder probe. Suggestions are made for product with inclusions and comparisons are made with ketchup and tomato paste.

Attributes: Firmness, area of work, extrusion force

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Food, Produce

Tomato Paste - Back Extrusion

In this study three different brands of tomato paste were tested with a back extrusion fixture that was mounted on the TA.XTPlus. The back extrusion method proved to be less affected by inclusions, oil separation, and other particulates that often cause repeatability issues in viscometers and consistometer testing. This method analyzes the firmness, work of penetration, tack and stickiness of sauces using a back extrusion fixture.

Attributes: firmness, work of penetration, tack, stickiness, sauces, pastes

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Cosmetics

Toothpaste - Firmness & Adhesiveness

Two tests were performed on three different tooth paste samples by a compression to a specific distance and an adhesive test. Differences were seen in the firmness, tackiness, work-of-adhesion, and stringiness. Three types of toothpastes were evaluated for firmness, adhesiveness and stringiness. A compression test was used to differentiate the firmness while the an adhesive test was used for stringiness and adhesiveness.

Attributes: firmness, tackiness, work-of-adhesion, stringiness

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Cosmetics

Toothpaste - Tarter Control Gel

We tested six brands of tarter control gel toothpastes with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer to measure how toothpaste’s firmness, stringiness, and adhesiveness change when exposed to air. We all experience this change in texture when others fail to replace the toothpaste tube’s cap. The tarter control gels tested included Colgate, Aim, CVS brand, Arm & Hammer, Listerine, and Crest. The tarter control gels were tested at four intervals after extrusion: immediately, thirty minutes, sixty minutes and sixteen hours.

Attributes: firmness, tackiness, work-of-adhesion, stringiness

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Food, Baked

Tortilla Dough

This study looks at the stickiness of three different formulations of tortilla dough using the TA-100 Chen Hoseney Dough Stickiness Fixture. This fixture is designed to isolate dough stickiness from the extensibility component of dough adhesiveness.

Attributes: dough stickiness, adhesion, cohesion

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Adhesives, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical

Transdermal Adhesives

The debonding properties of transdermal patch adhesives are critical to successful drug delivery as well as patient comfort. Patches must remain securely in place for the duration of the targeted controlled release period despite the need to accommodate patient movement, perspiration and cleanings. Patches must also not be too painful when removed at the end of its useful life. These adhesive properties can be measured, visualized and quantified using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and the TA-303 rig for pressure sensitive adhesives. The TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer offers three-dimensional information on adhesive performance and provides the sensitive, repeatable measures of adhesive properties that are critical to the performance of transdermal adhesives. Transdermal drug delivery systems can be easily compared with minimal operator intervention. The TA.XTPlus is used to measure peak tack, work of adhesion, and cohesive properties of the pressure sensitive adhesives used in transdermal patches.

Attributes: peak tack, work of adhesion, cohesive

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Food, Meat

Turkey Deli Meat Tested Three Ways

This application study demonstrates three different methods for testing deli meat using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software. Six different brands of oven roasted turkey deli meat were subjected to these three test methods. The brands were: Buddig, Butterball, Hillshire Farm, Hormel, Oscar Mayer, and Waterhill.

Attributes: Texture Profile Analysis, TPA, stiffness, firmness, chewiness, springiness

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Powders, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics, Food

Unconfined Yield Strength of Moderately Compressed Powders

Unconfined Yield Strength is a measurement of the force required to cause unsupported material to shear. It is a very useful metric to evaluate powders’ flow behaviors and thus assist companies in understanding the propensities of powders to experience caking, arching, rat-holes, erratic flow, uneven distribution of active ingredients, etc. It is important to know the UYS of powders to understand how they need to be stored, transported and metered throughout any production process. Many common powder problems can be addressed if the unconfined yield strength of the material is known. The yield stress of lightly consolidated powders can be measured with equipment such as SMS’ Powder Flow Analyzer or shear cell tests. The yield stress of highly consolidated powders can be measured with tablet hardness tests, such as SMS’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer or many other tablet hardness testing tools. No convenient existing techniques address measuring the UYS of moderately consolidated powders, which is a consolidation state that many powders routinely experience. This application study describes a method to quantify the unconfined yield strength of moderately consolidated powders using Stable Micro System’s TA.XTPlus. This method was presented by Polizzi, Yuan and Hancock in their poster Direct Measurement of the Unconfined Yield Strength of Moderately Compressed Pharmaceutical Powders at the AAPS Annual Meeting in 2011. The method uses the TA-403 TTC Unconfined Yield Strength Fixture on eight moderately compressed powders.

Attributes: unconfined yield strength

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Cosmetics

Using Texture Analysis to Substantiate Claims in Haircare

This guide presents several methods to analyze the textural effects of haircare products.

Attributes: Firmness, resilience, bending strength, tackiness, adhesion, stiffness

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Pharmaceutical

Vaginal Contraceptive Film Disintegration

Vaginal contraceptive films are quick disintegrating strips that contain and deliver spermicide gel. Vaginal contraceptive films need to survive storage in their packaging and then be flexible enough to be removed and placed in the vagina where they disintegrate and deliver the spermicide. If contraceptive films disintegrate too quickly after opening the package and during handling, then proper placement might not be achieved and the effectiveness of the product could be impacted. Conversely, an adequate handling time must be balanced against an efficient deployment speed along with a timely disintegration of the film into an effective contraceptive gel. This study uses the Stable Micro Systems’ TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer and Exponent software to determine the disintegration behavior of vaginal contraceptive films.

Attributes: disintegration, swelling

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Food, Poultry, Meat

Various Methods for Testing Chicken Breast & Shredded Chicken

The firmness and toughness of poultry meat are highly important textural attributes for consumers. The textural characteristics of whole muscle meat can be highly variable because of differences in testing presentation, sample provenance, testing location on muscle group, subtle cooking differences between products, and even differences between the birds themselves. Many of these same problems also show up when evaluating the texture of diced and shredded poultry. This application study presents several methods for testing the firmness and toughness of whole chicken breast and shredded chicken breast. Testing was performed with Stable Micro System’s TA.XTPlus and the accompanying Exponent software. Poultry breeding, animal feed, ingredient, and processing companies can choose between the proposed methods and deploy the one which most closely evaluate the targeted tenderness of their products.

Attributes: firmness, toughness, shear strength

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Materials

Verifying a TAXTPlus load cell with a scale

Customers occasionally request a dynamic test method to verify their instrument performance to determine whether it generates repeatable results. Among the purposes of these requests are to meet IQ/OQ or calibration requirements, to determine whether one instrument is varying more than others, and to troubleshoot supply problems with vendors. When the forces are relatively small, for example approximately 300 grams, then the verification can be quantified using back extrusion techniques into liquid-filled containers (TTC’s TA-WE Water back extrusion fixture). The displacement profiles with these fixtures are extremely repeatable and are useful to identify and/or eliminate whether any observed variation between instruments is due to the instrument or the load cell.

Attributes: force verification

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Materials

Water Repeatability Method

Texture Technologies developed the water repeatability method in order to compare the performance of one instrument to another, even when the instruments may be at different locations. This method is in response to requests for specific products or materials that can be used dynamically to validate that their instruments are operating effectively. The theoretical material would have to generate extremely repeatable results when tested, be insensitive to aging/oxidation/temperature/altitude, is operator independent, is not subject to developing a history (eg. over-stress bloom strips or test springs), and be available in identical formulations at different locations.

Attributes: repeatability, sensitivity

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Adhesives

Wet Tack of Adhesive Glues

The TA.XT2 quantifies the wet tack of adhesives glue in a manner which is not quantifiable in alternative instruments. This test quantifies differences in adhesiveness, speed of cure, and glue adhesiveness during of cure time.

Attributes: adhesion, cohesion, stickiness, work of adhesion, stringiness, cure time

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Wheat Flour Tortillas

Wheat flour tortillas are favored for their light and tender bite, especially among those who grew up eating white pan bread. Their strength and flexibility allow use in increasingly popular burritos and wraps. Optimizing product quality and reformulation to include specialty flours and nutritional additives require texture measurements to quantify these key properties. We used the TA.XTPlus to compare the texture of two wheat flour tortillas with respect to extensibility, toughness and tear strength. The products were 13” pressed tortillas made four days earlier. The batches differed only in the shortening ingredient: one contained palm oil and the other a vegetable oil processed to have similar functional properties. Tasting by several experts suggested that the tortillas with palm oil were very slightly more tender, less tough and easier to tear. The tortillas were tested with a TA-108 Tortilla Fixture, a TA-44 Craft Knife, a TA-55 5 mm diameter puncture probe, and pulled apart with a set of TA-96 Adjustable Grips.

Attributes: firmness, stiffness

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Food, Baked, Confectionery

Wheat Thins - Acoustic Envelope Detector

The food industry has been interested for many decades in correlating acoustic measurements with consumer judgements of crispiness and crunchiness. Capturing and analyzing acoustical and mechanical tests has historically been cumbersome and technologically demanding. SMS has introduced its Acoustic Envelope Detector (AED) for the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, which can capture acoustic signals simultaneously with force, distance and time data; and the analysis of that data can be automated with macros. The test capabilities of the Acoustic Envelope Detector are illustrated by capturing synchronized acoustic and force data during a 3-point bend test on Wheat Thin crackers. The acoustic data can clearly be quantified and can be used as another tool for correlating instrumental tests with consumers’ perceptions of crispness.

Attributes: hardness, crispness, crunchiness, acoustic, fracturability, stiffness

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Food, Baked

Yeast Doughnuts – TPA and Puncture

Doughnuts are at their peak flavor and softness when first made. They become harder, more crumbly, and less desirable over time. Formulators work within constraints for texture, size, weight, flavor, packaging volume, short-term and long-term shelf life. Doughnuts are complex systems because crust and crumb stale at different rates, moisture migration becomes complex when glazed, and packaging can affect how quickly doughnuts achieve moisture equilibrium. This study addresses how texture changes can be measured with the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer using two different methods. It provides an excellent case study of how staling occurs in baked products.

Attributes: shelf life, moisture migration, firmness, stiffness, softness, staling, springiness, cohesiveness, resilience

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Food, Dairy

Yogurts - Cycle and Penetration

Two different brands of plain yogurt were subjected to a cycling agitation test with a ball probe. The cycling motion breaks down the structure of the yogurt. The two brands reacted differently despite both being plain one and one half milk fat yogurts.

Attributes: Firmness, cyclic strength

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Food, Dairy, New Foods

Yogurts Cycle Test

This application study presents a cyclic test method which breaks down the structure of yogurt. Three different types of yogurt were tested to demonstrate the method: Siggi’s No Fat Raspberry Yogurt, Stonyfield Organic Low Fat Raspberry Yogurt, and Stonyfield O’Soy Soy Vanilla Yogurt. A custom sequence was used to cycle through the yogurt. A TA-18 ½” ball probe was inserted into the yogurt 25 mm from the base of the container within 30 seconds from removal from the refrigerator. The test was the initiated 90 seconds later which allowed the yogurt to settle. The sequence then cycled up 10 mm and down 10 mm from the starting position 10 times.

Attributes: Firmness, cyclic strength

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Food, Dairy

Yogurts Tested Three Ways

The varieties of commercial yogurts that are available in retail stores have very different consistency and physical characteristics. This application study discusses three methods which precisely quantify yogurt texture using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer. These methods were applied to testing six brands of strawberry yogurt purchased at a local store. The methods involved penetrating the yogurt containers with a TA-2A 90 degree cone probe and a TA-3 1” diameter cylinder probe, as well as a relaxation test which was conducted with the TA-3 cylinder probe.

Attributes: Firmness, Stickiness, Adhesion

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Food, Confectionery

York Peppermint Patties

This application study presents a puncture test method for analyzing the firmness and layers of York Peppermint Patties and similar layered candies. A TA-53 3 mm diameter puncture probe was aligned over a 6 mm diameter hole in the test platform which allowed the probe to puncture completely through the patty. Three patties from each brand were tested three times each, totaling nine replicate tests for each brand.

Attributes: Initial puncture force, mean filling force, total area of work

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