Rheological characterization of food material properties – new instruments

For those of you who do not know, rheology is the scientific discipline that is preoccupied with the properties of materials. Rheological tests involve the application of force to a material and measuring the flow. These tests have been essential in analytical laboratories of food companies.  Many of the foods that we consume are liquid-based, their stability and appearance depending exclusively on the rheological features of their components. Determining the flow properties of materials is essential when it comes to designing quality control, predicting storage and stability. Let’s talk a little bit about rheological instrumentation. New instruments have been introduced in the investigation of materials. Are you curious to find out more?

Introducing the rheometer

The laboratory device is utilized in rheological analysis so as to measure the way in which a liquid discharges with regards to applied forces. The rheometer is capable of scaling the flow properties of liquids, semi-liquids, and solids, being developed for serious projects. Modern thermometers are so advanced that they can calculate both the torque and the speed. Temperature is another significant parameter, being directly measured in the measuring cell. What you need to know is that this instrument is much more complicated than others. Technology of this kind is appropriate for commercial uses, as mentioned earlier, satisfying the most demanding applications.

Technology innovations and rheological characterization

Establishing the rheological properties of various food products is paramount, providing information for engineers, as well as food scientists. The rheometer has not changed much since its introduction. In other words, the original design concept has been preserved. However, innovations have been introduced, allowing for the testing of samples that can be defined as difficult. Thanks to technological innovations, experts are able to get more out of rheology, evaluating new formulations and doing a good job. Over the course of the last years, the instruments have become less and less expensive. What is more, the instruments are based on Microsoft Windows, which is the reason why they are good candidates for quality control and manufacturing. The PC is not committed to running the rheometer and it can be used for other purposes.

Applying rheological data in the food industry

Food rheology is paramount for design purposes. Lets’ take an example. Carbohydrates are the basis of our diet. When determining the satiety effects of carbohydrates, engineers use rheological analysis. They compare liquid and solid foods. Generally speaking, rheology is focused on the study of liquid nutritional sources and it’s worth insisting on the fact that it has transformed into a real science. It’s impossible not to notice that there is a growing interest in solid materials, like chocolates and potatoes. Every single day, we come across solid materials that display different properties. Transient and dynamic measurements are used by food scientists. These measurements help them get the info they need in order to improve and optimize products, as well as manufacturing processes. The type of instrument that is required depends on the shear rates and the time necessary for the sequence of events.