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Confectionery is one of the most diverse sectors when it comes to variations in texture. It is unique as the texture has been deliberately designed by food technologists to meet consumer requirements and market expectations. The range of ingredients and formulations available means there is virtually no limit to the variety of finished confectionery products that can be produced.
Getting the texture consistency right can, however, be a challenge when combining different ingredients and altering production methods to optimize the quality of new products. Continual innovation in this sector increases the risk of products failing quality standards or not performing as expected.
Measuring small particulates in confections, such as meringue is much more accurate in bulk form.
Back extrusion is an ideal method for measuring the flow, thickening, and consistency of pastes, semi-solids and viscous liquids. Products can be tested in their own packaging.
Slice through nougat to measure average hardness from its cross-section. Cross-sections of samples can be evaluated by slicing through them with blades and wires imitating the actions applied by the front incisor teeth. Attributes assessed include bite strength, cook quality, tenderness and toughness. Product texture variations are measured by slicing through the whole sample.
For larger bars or sheet type confectionery products, the three point bend is an ideal method for determining break strength.
Measure the elasticity of gums and laces using a tension test. Samples are stretched until they break at their weakest point to measure characteristics such as break resistance and elasticity.