Why test the texture of Jam? Food products are often most successful in retail because customers find textural characteristics desirable. This applies to food products and naturally is apparent in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, packaging, industrial materials and even adhesives. In this test, Brookfield Engineering Labs experts evaluate the consistency of jam using a CT3 Texture Analyzer.
Simple quality control test required for the assessment of jam/marmalade consistency.
To evaluate the gel structure and consistency of marmalade and jam i.e. texture testing.
The products supplied were totally free flowing at ambient temperature. Each contained particulate fruit pieces however these pieces were very small and not considered to affect results. Back extrusion using jar the product was supplied in and a 38 mm diameter cylinder probe with shallow gradient to base was used. Probe travels to sample surface and instrument is triggered at set load. Probe then travels into sample where load rapidly increases initially followed by plateau of loads as critical yield stress is reached and product begins flow.
Jam sample was simply located centrally beneath test probe at ambient temperature of 22°C. The test probe was driven into the sample following conditions given and the samples response evaluated.
PARAMETERS OF INTEREST
HARDNESS: Peak load recorded during the first compression cycle e.g. the force necessary to attain a given deformation.
AREA CYCLE 1: Work (J) required to attain target deformation. Indicative of the internal strength of bonds within product e.g. strength of gel network.
ADHESIVE FORCE: Force required to “pull” the probe from the sample surface e.g. “stickiness”.
ADHESIVENESS: Work (J) required to break the contact between the sample and the probe.
A clear difference between the two jam samples can be observed through all of the core parameters selected. The
test provides an objective means to quantify the subjective puree type consistency. The differences are primarily
reflected by the differences in energy input to reach the 30 mm penetration whilst the Hardness value directly
relates to the Gel strength of the product. The adhesiveness parameters provide an indication of how the sample
adheres to the test probe. Primarily this is related to the gel strength where the harder gels create a void as the
sample is displaced during the compression cycle. During retraction of the probe this essentially creates a vacuum
between the probe sample interface and thus must be considered as an indicator of sample adhesion.
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