Stable Micro Systems claims that the new range will allow baked goods manufacturers to more easily measure and analyse the texture of their products for NPD, quality control and benchmarking purposes. For example, whereas previous dough inflation tests have been limited to a set rate of inflation, Stable Micro Systems' new constant strain inflation rate facility enables the user to alter the inflation rate of the dough bubble as its volume changes.
Evaluation of the dough bubble's large deformation extensional properties provides vital information on the stability of gas cells and gas retention during proving and baking - key factors in the structure and volume of the final product.
Dough stickiness testing allows manufacturers to quantify the effects of overmixing, addition of excess water, overactivity of proteoytic enzymes, differences in wheat varieties and composition. Using the Miller-Hoseney toughness rig, the toughness and firmness of breads and other sliceable products can be established. The company claims that many bakers use this test to assess staling and test the effects of ingredients and processes which can improve shelf-life.
In addition, Stable Micro Systems says that tests using the Kieffer dough & gluten extensibility rig give a good indication of the processability of a dough and the end-product quality that manufacturers can expect.
Other key textural properties, such as biscuit hardness, cereal bar fracturability, pastry softening, tortilla burst strength and cereal crispiness can also be quantified using Stable Micro Systems' TA.XTplus and TA.HDplus texture analysers. Technical staff will be on hand at Food & Bake 2004 to demonstrate all the tests and discuss texture analysis methods for bakers and the rest of the food manufacturing industry.
Since the first show in 1989, Food & Bake has grown and evolved to become one of the leading event in the industry. The show represents all aspects of the baking world, together with the related food and snack sectors.
There will be a number of new developments at Food Bake 2004, which will take place 14 to 17 March at Birmingham's NEC. The ice cream industry, for example, will have its first feature at Food & Bake this year in the form of the Food & Bake Ice Cream Innovations Parlour, supported by the Ice Cream Alliance.
In addition, the National Association of Master Bakers will be hosting a series of seminars on 17 March, which will be of particular interest to students. Admission to the seminars will be free of charge and will feature prominent speakers on key issues in the industry.