The patent-pending SpotOn Consistometer therefore bridges the gap between analog measurements, which require an experienced operator, and a conventional benchtop texture analyser, which is used in laboratories.
Innoquest president Bill Hughes said the equipment could be used to test a variety of different foods. “It can be used to quickly measure the texture of shortening, margarine, butter, cheese, icing, paste, dough, peanut butter and more.”
It combines precision force, depth and temperature sensors with a microprocessor and a digital reading that enables a display of averages and standard deviation.
Penetration force, depth and temperature
Using a precision load cell and non-contact depth sensor, the device simultaneously measures penetration force, penetration depth and the temperature of an entire sample, not just the surface.
It also can also display instantaneous penetration speed, which provides the operator with guidance for repeatable results. All the data gained from readings can also be downloaded to a spreadsheet program for analysis and plotting.
“The Consistometer is handheld, enabling on-the-spot measurements, and is simple to operate through self-teaching features,” Hughes said. “It also includes PC software for full data recall and custom configuration to your application.”
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has given Innoquest an AE50 award in recognition of the innovative nature of the device.
ASABE described it as “one of the year’s most innovative designs in engineering products or systems for the food and agriculture industries”.
Companies from across the globe submit entries for the awards and up to the best 50 products are chosen by a panel of international engineering experts.