FIRMNESS/HARDNESS/SOFTNESS are textural properties that are generally on the same property spectrum. A soft product is one that displays a slight resistance to deformation, a firm product describes one that is moderately resistant to deformation and hardness describes a product which displays substantial resistance to deformation. However, it is also found that depending upon the product industry one of these words may be more favourable or pertinent to a particular product.
The terms Firmness, Hardness and Softness are so broadly used that they can be obtained by a variety of different test types. In certain cases, the product has limitations of presenting to the texture analyser for testing. For these reasons, a compromising solution may have to be found to optimise the testing of the required product property.
The test type is chosen according to the size, form, homogeneity etc. of the sample and can therefore be derived from a single piece compression, bulk compression, penetration, extrusion or cutting tests as is most appropriate. Whilst performing one of these tests it is not uncommon to be able to obtain a number of other textural parameters that are also possessed by the product.
• BITING FORCE/CUTTING FORCE
• RUPTURE FORCE
• COMPACTION FORCE/COMPRESSIBILITY
Typical properties that can be obtained from a texture analysis graph:
Mean Friction force, stick/slip
The above are only typical examples of firmness/hardness/softness measurement. We can, of course, design and manufacture probes or fixtures that are bespoke to your sample and its specific measurement.
Once your measurement is performed, our expertise in its graphical interpretation is unparalleled – no-one understands texture analysis like we do. Not only can we develop the most suitable and accurate method for the testing of your sample, but we can prepare analysis procedures that obtain the desired parameters from your curve and drop them into a spreadsheet or report designed around your requirements.
Typical Texture Analyser graph with annotated properties
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