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Texture analysis satisfies sweet tooth cravings

Lloyd Instruments : 08 July, 2003  (New Product)
Lloyd Instruments has long supplied confectionery manufacturers with advanced testing solutions to ensure end-product quality on the consumer shelf. The TA Plus is the company's latest texture analyser that offers affordable, high performance testing whether in Quality Control or product development.
The use of human sensory panels to determine confectionery product quality is well documented, but too impractical for today's busy mechanised lines. The TA Plus offers a quantitative approach, aimed at driving down costs through fast, efficient testing without compromising on data accuracy or reproducibility. Key to its success is flexibility, ease of use, and high sensitivity of measurement.

The TA Plus features a 100 kgf capacity, designed specifically for routine textural testing and sophisticated texture profile analysis. It sits comfortably on a bench and accepts interchangeable, easy to connect XLC Series load cells as the load measuring device. Unlike other texture analysers, it features a sizeable working area to accommodate large samples. A reading measurement to within+/- 0.5% and a speed accuracy lower than 0.2% ensures reliable results. The standard system includes the base machine, drip tray, food testing base and probe for routine entry-level applications.

Texture Profile Analysis is used to measure snack bar crispness, biscuit crumb strength, sponge and marshmallow springiness, caramel and toffee chewiness, chocolate bar break strength, gel consistency and more. A simple change of sample grip alters instrument functionality for greater cost efficiency. There are special knife attachments to test butter and cream consistencies, and flat ended probes to measure stickiness values of icings and confectionery fillings. Even the snap strength of crackers, tortillas, and fries can be checked with a modified three point bend test.

Through TPA, confectionery manufacturers are able to adjust ingredient ratios, assess baking and production variables, and determine shelf life. It is also possible to correlate the test data against human sensory panels as a final check. Once TPA profiles have been defined, the procedure can then be transferred to the production line for standard testing during Quality Control.

To help users in the instrument control, data analysis and reporting of results, Lloyd Instruments has launched a new version of its acclaimed NEXYGEN MT software. With a vast test library for international manufacturing standards compliance, key features on this upgrade include strict multilevel user security and audit trails for total traceability of data and users, video capture and playback(for training and additional analysis purposes), and extended instrument interfaces.
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