Lloyd Instruments, the UK-based the materials testing provider, has unveiled the TAPlus - budget-end, high performance food texture analyser.
Easy to use, the TAPlus is designed for both routine and sophisticated texture analysis, using the company's NexygenMT application software. Unusually, the instrument features a sizable working area to accommodate large samples, and a wide range 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' wide range of interchangeable, easy to connect XLC Series loadcells. Measurements are 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, food testing base and a half-inch probe for routine applications.
Using the appropriate test fixture, typical applications with the TAPlus include 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 and confectionery, even the tensile strength and compressibility of cooked spaghetti. Tension and compression testing with cycling to load and extension limits extend the testing capabilities.
Functionality is extended further still using Nexygen MT, the company's data analysis control software. This easy to use, Windows-based package holds a library of international standard tests and specialist food test set-ups. Version 4.5 has just been released, with new features such as data security and audit trails as well as video capture and playback. Standard test set-ups include fatigue cyclic testing for measuring the recovery properties of a sample not expected to rupture, and a four-point gel test to measure the four parameters of a gel: Bloom, break load, modulus and work done to break. Other tests include a single hardness test, single stickiness test to measure the adhesiveness and adhesive force of a sample, a snap strength test, and a stress relaxation test set up for measuring the relaxation of a sample whilst compressed for a length of time.
The Texture Profile Analysis set up 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 is part of the Ametek Material Test Business Unit headquartered in Largo, Florida USA. Ametek is a leading globalmanufacturer of electrical and electromechanical products with a worldwide distribution network and annual sales exceeding €1 billion.