LloydInstruments has unveiled the TAPlus - a low-priced, high performance foodtexture analyser aimed primarily at the bakery and processed meat markets.
The company claims the analyser is easy to use, the TAPlus is designed for both routine andsophisticated texture analysis, using the company's latest version NexygenMT application software. The instrumentfeatures a sizable working area to accommodate large samples, and a widerange of food texture probes, jigs and attachments, as well as multi-purposegrips (for testing food packaging and other applications).
The 102 Kgf (1000N, 220 lbf) capacity TAPlus accepts Lloyd Instruments' widerange of interchangeable, easy to connect XLC Series loadcells.Measurements are claimed to be accurate to +0.5 per cent of the reading and speeds accurate to<0.2 per cent. The standard system includes the base machine, a drip tray, foodtesting base and a half-inch probe for routine applications.
Using the appropriate test fixture, typical applications with the TAPlusinclude gelatine Bloom strength measurement to BS757; dough firmness;softness measurement, crumb strength and shelf life of baked items; cuttingforces of bread, meat and butter; fracture properties of biscuits andconfectionery, even the tensile strength and compressibility of cookedspaghetti. Tension and compression testing with cycling to load andextension limits are said to extend the testing capabilities.
Functionality is extended further still using Nexygen MT, the company'sdata analysis control software. This Windows-based package holds a vast library of international standard testsand specialist food test set-ups. Version 4.5 has just been released, withnew features such as powerful data security and audit trails, video captureand playback and more. Results are presented in clear formats. Furthermore, OLE2 compatibility means results can beexported easily into Microsoft packages for flexible reporting.
Standard test set-ups include fatigue cyclic testing for measuring therecovery properties of a sample not expected to rupture, and a four-pointgel test to measure the four parameters of a gel: Bloom, break load, modulusand work done to break. Other tests include a single hardness test, singlestickiness test to measure the adhesiveness and adhesive force of a sample,a snap strength test, and a stress relaxation test setup for measuring therelaxation of a sample whilst compressed for a length of time. The TextureProfile Analysis setup is designed to measure the hardness, cohesiveness,springiness, gumminess, chewiness, fracture force, adhesive force,adhesiveness and springiness index of a food sample.
Lloyd Instruments, together withChatillon and Davenport, are part of the AMETEK Material Test Business Unitheadquartered in Florida, US.