Gel Strength Testing Gummy Candies
Determining gel strength, which is also referred to as bloom, is a common practice for many food producers. Gel strength is an important measurement because it has a strong influence on mouth feel. In a typical gel strength test, the amount of force needed to rupture the specimen and the extension at rupture are reported.
A manufacturer of gummy candies was interested in purchasing equipment that would allow them to determine the gel strength of their products on their own, as opposed to hiring an outside test lab. Gel strength is dependent on test speed, geometry, and size of the puncture probe, as well as the alignment of the probe. A misaligned probe could result in a stress concentration at the corner of the probe. Unnecessary stress concentrations may cause a premature failure. It is important to ensure that proper equipment is used. We recommend the use of a 3-jaw chuck to fix the probe in place. With a 3-jaw chuck, the alignment will always be optimum, since the device is self-centering and there is no subjective manual alignment necessary. The diameter of the probe is dependent on the specimen geometry or standard being followed. In the case of gummy candies tested at Instron, a 5/16-inch probe was used and a test speed of 2 in/min.
We suggest using either our 3300 or 5500 electromechanical testing systems equipped with a 3-jaw chuck and food probe set for determining the gel strength of a variety of materials. Bluehill® software is an appropriate software package - the automatic preload feature will allow a system to automatically determine the starting point so that consistent extension at rupture values can be achieved. It is important to make sure that a proper load cell is used. Because the gel strength for some specimens may be very low, you should select a load cell for the respective testing system that will allow you to maintain optimum accuracy at the point of specimen rupture.
Flat-end puncture probes produce a shear stress in the specimen. The force required to cause shearing as the probe penetrates the specimen relates to texture properties such as firmness and hardness. Catalog Number: 2830-006, 2830-036, 2830-005, 2830-015
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Instron 3300 Series Universal Testing Systems for Tensile, Compression, Bend, and other material property tests.
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5900 Universal Testing Systems are engineered for precision, built for durability, and offer the flexibility for changing requirements. They are designed with standard and optional features that increase testing efficiency and improve the testing experience for the operator. A wide range of models are available for testing capacities from < 100N up to 600kN.
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Bluehill 2 material testing software is the second generation of the original fully-integrated modular software package that provides easy tailored application solutions for today's laboratory managers and test technicians. In addition to the standard testing applications including tensile, compression, flexural, peel, tear and friction, Bluehill 2 has several new and unique added features.
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