News archive


Chocolate image

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ACADEMIC RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT

In today's chocolate manufacturing, automated equipment has replaced the manual processes which traditionally relied largely on the experience and skill of the chocolatier.

For quality control purposes and hence customer satisfaction it is increasingly important to apply the right processing conditions and controlling parameters, such as the time, the temperature, the moisture content and the relative humidity of the surrounding air.



Cutting and Shearing
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APPLICATION ADVICE: COMPARING CUTTING/ SHEARING ACCESSORIES

We are often asked why there are so many different blade fixture options available from Stable Micro Systems.

Our range of blades vary considerably in size, material, thickness and sharpness. In general they are used to measure the Bite/Cutting Force of products which in some instances can relate to their 'Toughness'. The following guidelines may help in clarifying the potential use of each.


Warner-Braztler test

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STABLE MICRO SYSTEMS AT THE FOREFRONT OF FISH TEXTURE TESTING

An independent study published in the Journal of Food Science has recognised the superior performance of Stable Micro Systems' Warner-Bratzler shear blade in assessing firmness and texture in salmon fillets.*

The blade, which is used to assess the cutting force, or 'bite' of fresh fish, was the most sensitive method tested and yielded the most consistently accurate and repeatable data. As post-mortem quality degradation in fish continues to affect revenues, these conclusions will assist manufacturers looking to implement reliable, accurate and tested quality control procedures.



Powder Flow Analyser help file

STABLE MICRO SYSTEMS INCREASES 
THE FLOW OF INFORMATION FOR 
POWDER TESTING

Stable Micro Systems has enhanced its already flexible graphical user interface for the Powder Flow Analyser to include a wider selection of tests and background information.

New users will benefit from a more comprehensive understanding of the instruments capabilities with the addition of enhanced data analysis techniques, results spreadsheets, automatically generated charts and reports and an extensive sample video database.

 
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Screensaver image

DOWNLOAD OUR 
TEXTURE ANALYSIS SCREENSAVER

You are now able to download a screensaver which highlights many of the uses of a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser.

Just as any normal screensaver, this activates when your PC is inactive for a specified period of time (with optional sound) to display a video guiding you through many texture analysis possibilities.

 
You can either download this screensaver from the Software Download section of our website, click on the link in the Exponent splashscreen that is displayed when you open your software, or find the file: <Install_StableMicroSystemsGen_SCR.exe> on our latest DVD (for versions 5,1,1,0 and higher).



Transport case

TRANSPORTATION CASE FOR SINGLE TEXTURE ANALYSER NOW AVAILABLE

For customers who require their Texture Analysers to be moved around from one location to another, we can now supply an improved transportation case.

The new case accommodates a single column texture analyser with additional space for accessories and tools. The watertight case is made from lightweight, strong HPX Resin with in-line wheels, 2 padlockable hasps, telescoping handle, four double-layered soft-grip handles and seven press and pull latches.

For a quotation please contact sales@stablemicrosystems.com


Lab News article

FROM THE PRESS...

We are pleased to announce that we can make further articles from Laboratory News and Manufacturing Chemist available to our users.

Among these is a study of texture analyser use in the field of Pharmaceutical Films. Others in the range include Adhesives and Packaging and Fruit testing.

To receive a copy or more information, please send your name, company name and address to: jo.smewing@stablemicrosystems.com



Edible films overview

NEW OVERVIEW AVAILABLE ON REQUEST:

Would you like the latest Application Overview which highlights methods for Edible Films?

Application Overviews give a detailed summary of all of the methods and fixtures that are currently in use in this field of testing. They include testing points to consider and a comprehensive list of academic references. Among others available are Fruit, Pasta and Bakery Products

To request the Edible Films Product Application Overview, or any others in the series, please contact: jo.smewing@stablemicrosystems.com



Kelp testing article

 
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A NOVEL TESTING APPLICATION FROM NEW ZEALAND

The importance of kelp elasticity to South Island Maori (and others): an unexpected relationship

Katja Schweikert is a doctorate student in the Department of Botany at the University of Otago - the oldest in New Zealand - which has an international reputation for research excellence and leads the latest Government university research performance assessment.

Katja's research was geared towards investigating the environmental influences on the kelp as it grows; and she was particularly interested in finding a method of quantifying and comparing the strength of the various kelp samples.



Non-homogeneous test chart

 

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USING THE TEXTURE ANALYSER FOR 
NON-HOMOGENEOUS PRODUCTS

An independent study published in the Journal of Food Science has recognised the superior performance of Stable Micro Systems' Warner-Bratzler shear blade in assessing firmness and texture in salmon fillets.*

Empirical methods of assessing texture are often challenged by lack of homogeneity or uniformity in samples - a challenge which is almost impossible to approach with fundamental methods. Heterogeneous systems have structural elements that can vary considerably for the same overall chemical composition depending upon how they were created.



VolScan video

NEW VOLSCAN PROFILER VIDEO

You can now see our latest online video commercial showcasing Volume.

Following on from our two recent Texture Analysis videos, the new compilation shows the versatility of the VolScan Profiler, Stable Micro Systems' digital volume measurement instrument, with particular reference to its capabilities in the assessment of bakery products and fruit.

Access the film here



VSP Getting Started Guide

GETTING STARTED GUIDES

Particularly useful in the case of instruments with multiple users who are looking for a quick step by step guide to obtaining good data, there is now a range of A3 posters available.

These feature the TA.XTplus/TA.HDplus Texture Analyser (both instrument setup and operational safety guides are now available), the VolScan Profiler, the Powder Flow Analyser and the Dobraszczyk/Roberts Dough Inflation System.

 
If you would like to request a complimentary copy of any of these, please contact jo.smewing@stablemicrosystems.com with your instrument serial number and postal address.



VolScan Profiler fruit testing

MEASURING WHOLE FRUIT VOLUME

Quality components of fruits and vegetables are classified into the external such as size (weight, volume and dimensions), colour, shape (diameter/depth ratio), external defects etc. and the internal such as sugar content, acid content, firmness, maturity etc and internal characteristics.

Volume is an important physical property of agricultural materials. The method most commonly used to determine volume is water displacement. However simple, the water displacement method produces one figure which is manually recorded.

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Vienna Court

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UK TRAINING COURSES

Why come on a Texture Analysis course?

If you would like to improve your understanding of texture analysis and obtain maximum benefit from the use of your Stable Micro Systems Texture Analyser and software, we are here to help.

Our one day courses are held at our head office in Godalming, Surrey. Each course consists of Software and Applications training sections.



Potential Imitative Tests poster

REVIEWING THE POTENTIAL OF IMITATIVE TEXTURE ANALYSIS

Imitative tests measure various properties under conditions similar to those to which the product is subjected in practice, for instance the properties of the material during handling, consumption or application.

The poster on the facing page highlights the types of test for which a Texture Analyser is commonly employed, with real life examples for each of the principles and example texture analysis tests which can be performed.

This poster is available in A3 size. If you wish to receive a copy, please send your name, company name and address to: jo.smewing@stablemicrosystems.com



Getting Started Guides

Getting Started Guides

Particularly useful in the case of instruments with multiple users who are looking for a quick step by step guide to obtaining good data, there is now a range of A3 posters available.

These feature the TA.XTplus/TA.HDplus Texture Analyser (both instrument setup and operational safety guides are now available), the VolScan Profiler, the Powder Flow Analyser and the Dobraszczyk/Roberts Dough Inflation System.

If you would like to request a complimentary copy of any of these, please contact jo.smewing@stablemicrosystems.com with your instrument serial number and postal address.



Exponent

 

 

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MORE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW 
EXPONENT V5 SOFTWARE

Amongst the many updates included in the new Version 5 of Exponent, we would like to highlight a few more features which we feel you will find particularly useful in the improvement of your testing and analysis efficiency and comprehensive presentation and archiving.



Tablet Disintegration Rig

STABLE MICRO SYSTEMS BOOSTS BREAKDOWN TESTING

A new Tablet Disintegration Rig has recently been unveiled which facilitates the reliable assessment of the mechanical properties of fast-melting tablets (FMTs).

Attached to a TA.XTplus texture analyser, the rig closely replicates the in vivo conditions of the human mouth, enabling manufacturers to examine water absorption and the disintegration of associated particles into individual components. This allows the determination of tablet disintegration time and behaviour, giving a valuable insight into performance and efficacy.

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Universal Product Support

 

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UNIVERSAL PRODUCT SUPPORT FOR THE VOLSCAN PROFILER

The VolScan Profiler is a precise and rapid method for the measurement of the volume of bread loaves and bakery products in order to be able to control and monitor the manufacturing conditions and operations.

Since its launch in 2008 the Volscan Profiler and software have continued to progress and a number of features have been added including the newly launched Universal Product Support. This optional accessory extends the range of products which can be held within the instrument in order to be successfully tested. It provides a myriad of support solutions by presenting a 100mm diameter base with an array of pins of differing thicknesses and lengths.



Twitter image

TWITTER

Stable Micro Systems now has a Twitter feed. 

Each week a tweet of news is submitted regarding an upcoming event, training course, article of interest or highlighting a texture related snippet of information. If you would like to receive these tweets please follow us at: www.twitter.com/StableMicro



Acoustic Envelope Detector

 
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ACADEMICS COME TOGETHER TO PRESENT UPDATES ON THE USE OF THE ACOUSTIC ENVELOPE DETECTOR

The Acoustic Envelope Detector featured in presentations given by academics from all over the world at the International Conference on Food Oral Processing: Physics, Physiology, and Psychology of Eating, on 5-7 July 2010. 

This event took place at the Weetwood Hall, University of Leeds, and covered a wide range of topics associated with texture and sensory relationships. Among those topics of current interest was the measurement of the acoustic energy release during a physical test using a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser.



LIMS screen

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LIMS IN EXPONENT

For manufacturers, traceability through all stages of production, processing and distribution is critical in the effort to monitor quality, effectively manage recalls and limit product and revenue loss. A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) offers a secure environment for the management of batch relationships between raw materials, processed materials and packaged goods.

A LIMS automatically captures sample data, checks for out-of-specification results and assembles data into a variety of report formats, thereby identifying suspect products and suspending their release during investigation.



Macros and Projects

MACROS AND PROJECTS

Sample Macros and Projects have now been added to the Data Analysis Techniques section of Help Files within Exponent software.

These give useful examples of data analysis and typical tests that can be immediately loaded into Exponent by clicking on the ‘Load’ button.



Barcode Sannner and Vernier

USE OF BARCODE SCANNER AND VERNIER

Users of plus instruments may be interested to find that there are additional data collection options now available.

A Vernier allows linear distance measurements to be fed directly into Exponent as part of the test sequence. A single value would be stored within the Product Data of the test.

With the aid of a barcode scanner, a product barcode can be obtained, which would automatically select the correct project ready for testing, allowing even more automation and reducing user error.

Both devices are attached via the USB port on the PC.

Scanning the product automatically selects the required Product Project and prompts the user to start running tests, thereby allowing fully automated Project switchover.


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