Texture analysis tool tackles quality control in supply chain ripple

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Management

Texture analysis firm Food Technology's 'flagship' tool can tackle 'firmness', 'stickiness', and 'hardness' in the pursuit of consistent quality for bakery and snack products, says the company.

The Virginia company claims its TMS-Pro system provides 'precise, objective and repeatable measurements' for the texture of food products.

Quality control, which ripples up and down the supply chain, is an integral element to ensure a bakery or snack product reaches the consumer in optimal condition.

Textural parameters, such as 'stickiness', are established numerically and graphically for the product. Such criteria are then used as a blueprint for comparison and communication by diverse participants in the supply chain.

But matching control to costs is a rudimentary element for a company's balance sheet.

"The “Pro” was designed as an affordable alternative to the very high priced test systems offered by competitors,"​ said the instrumentation firm.

Characteristics for the finished product are determined by measuring the resistive and reactive forces of samples during the application of controlled stresses such as compression, shearing, extrusion, puncture, bending or other deformations.

In terms of the potential variety of products a manufacturer has in its portfolio, Food Technology claims its fully programmable TMS-Pro instrument, is capable of "accepting a range of fixtures for testing several products"​.

In addition, the instrument, "easily operated by production, laboratory and R&D personnel"​ is built to "withstand challenging production environments"​.

"With a capacity of 2500 Newtons, (550 lbs.) in compression or tension, the TMS-Pro can handle the toughest applications,"​ said the US company.

Quick interchange for load cells

The machine offer ten load cells, ranging from "0.2kgf (0.4lbf) to 254kgf (560lbf)" with precision at more or less 0.1 per cent of load cell capacity.

"Together with FTC’s innovative load cell fixture design you gain accurate performance as well as flexibility,"​ added the Virginia-based company.

Time-savings, proffers the firm, are also achievable because load cells can be interchanged without the "need for lengthy set-up and configuration routines."​ The TMS-Pro "instantly" recognises the load cell capacity and is automatically configured to the correct settings.

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