Food Testing Fixtures
Texture Profile Analysis is the physical study of foods and consumer goods. The science is used to evaluate how consumers will respond to certain physical properties of food products. Terms such as "Gumminess" and "Fracturability" actually have a mathematical formula associated with them that can be tested for.
Typically, a food testing procedure will involve the use of a compression probe which moves down and punctures the sample. A force curve that measures position vs. load can be generated and analyzed. This simulated chewing data is studied and used to predict desirable qualities in the food product. Other similar procedures are used to help improve the manufacturability and automation of a food production process.
Shear, Slice, or Cut
Grips and Fixtures for shearing food typically have two pieces. The bottom is a sample stage where the food specimen is placed. The top testing arm holds a knife or similar type of cutting implement.
Penetration fixtures are relatively simple. The sample will usually rest freely on the bottom flat surface and the compression implement will come down to puncture the specimen.
Often times it is necessary to test multiple samples at the same time. Multi-headed probes come down onto a specialized test stand which holds the samples.
Bending or Fracture jigs also have two pieces. The bottom consists of a span or base which holds the sample. The span can be two fixed points, or could be circular. The top arm of the universal testing machine has the third point loading probe which can be of a number of different designs.
Squeeze or Extrusion fixtures are used to test the flow of a semi-liquid material our of a container. For instance, a tube of toothpaste, or gel soap in a bottle.
Standard UGC tensile grips can be modified for food applications. Testing things like noodles or dough is important for both customer acquisition as well as manufacturability
The Universal Grip Company offers expert engineering service and can custom design specific food testing fixtures. If you have a new application, or are unsure of what you need, we can help.