Stable Micro Systems User News
Texture Analysis product testing areas Powder flow analysisFood applications Pharmaceutical applications Adhesive applications Cosmetic applications Volume measurement

February 2016 | To notify a colleague please click here |

In this Edition: | New Texture Analysis device | Cosmetic & Skincare patents | Accurate Volume Measurement |
Sports Nutrition article | Regular info | Training | Exhibitions | Software | Contact us...

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Food applications Pharmaceutical applications Adhesive applications Cosmetic applications Powder flow analysis Volume measurement

New Texture Analysis device - the Triple Ring Cutting System

There is a range of food products which consist of small, irregular and non-uniform particulate pieces which are solid but are predominantly consumed or handled in bulk, e.g. meringues, popcorn, nut clusters, noodles.

This range also covers very hard and brittle variable structures which fracture easily when deformed, e.g. cut, snapped, penetrated or compressed.

The primary issue of these types of samples is that because they are usually of varying sizes or are of non-homogeneous nature comparisons are difficult. They have a high variability from piece to piece within the same batch and require a sample set to be tested.

In this instance, it is usually advised to take a certain number or certain weight of sample and perform a bulk compression or shearing test. This type of test creates an ‘averaging effect’ and gives the result of a representative number or weight of sample pieces. Whilst a Kramer Shear cell or Ottawa cell have been typical options to allow the testing of this type of larger sample, the drawback is often that this type of test commonly requires a high force load cell, e.g. 500kg, and therefore lends itself to a TA.HDplus application.

Bulk testing can now be performed with a Triple Ring Cutting System which allows the determination of the textural properties of small non-uniform samples in smaller quantities. The design of the test head is based around a cutting array of concentric rings which provides a large cutting surface area in a relatively small device. This enables the testing of a monolayer of sample in a 95mm diameter vessel – a suitable choice to contain the sample to an optimum depth for cutting.

The concentric rings cut into the sample during a test (to a chosen distance above the vessel base) and force the sample to breakdown whereby the force during this procedure is gathered. The higher the maximum force and area under the curve the firmer is the sample which would be perceived by the consumer upon eating. A centralising platform ensures the test vessel can be quickly located in the ideal test position whilst a magnetic coupling of the test head allows for quick removal and replacement between tests for cleaning.

This magnetic quick removal system is the first of its kind in texture analysis and supports the need for test procedures that have efficiency in mind. The Cutting rings on the device are also removable for easy cleaning once all tests are complete.

The Triple Ring Cutting System is a Community Registered Design and is a continuation of the ever increasing range of innovative solutions for texture analysis.

For more details on this latest development from Stable Micro Systems, please email

Cosmetic and skincare patent applications employing the TA.XTplus

Skin care formulations, such as sunscreens, are typically categorised as either aqueous or non-aqueous, i.e., anhydrous, compositions.

Aqueous sunscreen compositions are typically provided as creams formed as emulsions containing active UV absorbing compounds and additional ingredients, such as waterproofing agents, fragrances, emollients and other skin care ingredients.

Non-aqueous sunscreen compositions are typically provided as solvent-based compositions that can be formed as gels for topical application or sprayed-on, for example from an alcohol based solution of the ingredients. Sprayable sunscreen compositions have become popular in recent years as a means for transporting and applying sunscreen. Film forming polymers are known to be added to non-aqueous sunscreen compositions so as to provide water resistance to these sunscreen compositions after the compositions are applied to the skin or hair.

However, conventional film forming polymers used in spray-on sunscreens suffer from a tacky feel when the sunscreen formulation has dried. Accordingly, there is a need to provide film forming polymers for use in skin care formulations that provide a lower tack with equivalent or improved sun protection. Lower tack translates to better feel on the skin of the user.

Akzo Nobel Chemicals International B.V. have filed a patent for such a product that uses their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser to substantiate their claim that their new skincare product is significantly less tacky than other equivalent products. The tack of the dry sunscreen film was measured using a TA.XTplus Texture Analyser equipped with a ½ inch diameter acrylic probe. To a 5⁄8 inch diameter by 1⁄8 inch deep well in an aluminum plate was added 60 uL of sunscreen. The sunscreen was allowed to dry for 7 1⁄2 minutes. The probe was lowered onto the film, and then lifted. This was repeated 5 times. The maximum force to lift the probe was determined.

Click here to

Meanwhile, L’Oreal have made an unexpected discovery.

A cosmetic composition containing at least one silicone acrylate copolymer and at least one polypropylsilsesquioxane film forming resin in a weight percent ratio of from about 1:1 to about 4:1, together with at least one hydrocarbon-based resin, at least one wax, at least one non-volatile oil and at least one volatile hydrocarbon solvent provides a lipstick composition with improved comfort (less tackiness) and provides increased shine (gloss).

They also performed an adhesive test using a cylinder probe on their TA.XTplus Texture Analyser and found desirable work of adhesion (and thus, tackiness) values for substantially non-tacky substances include less than about 0.5 g s, less than about 0.4 g s, less than about 0.3 g s and less than about 0.2 g s.

Click here to


Is your rapeseed displacement method slowing you down?

Is it making a mess and proving to be a calibration frustration?

In modern bakeries, it is increasingly important to have a precise and rapid method for the measurement of the volume of bread loaves, enabling control and monitoring of bread-making conditions and manufacturing operations.

Traditionally, volume measurements have been obtained by the technique of seed displacement, in which the amount of rape seed or pearl barley packing around the loaf in a standard container is measured.

However the following drawbacks which affect the efficiency, accuracy of the measurement and usability are commonly known in the baking industry:

Repeated calibration necessary
Operator dependence
Loss of seed due to spillage (and therefore seed all over lab floor)
Adherence of seeds to the product or to static electricity
Seed clumping due to moisture absorption
Periodic sieving of the seed to remove food crumbs
Potential crushing of freshly baked or soft products
Inability to test small products (results are reported to be +/-40ml
Limitation of recording one measurement only (i.e. volume)
Manual recording of results with no digital record

The VolScan Profiler is a benchtop laser-based scanner that measures the volume of bread and bakery products.

This non-contact measurement system offers considerable advantages over contact and displacement techniques which purely measure volume. The rapid 3-dimensional digitisation of products enables the automatic calculation of several detailed dimension related parameters, the results of which may be mathematically manipulated for immediate use or future retrieval in a variety of data formats.

Manufacturers have a precise and fast method for the measurement of the volume of bakery products in order to be able to control and monitor the breadmaking conditions and ingredient performance.

So let us sow a new seed for you - the VolScan Profiler.

Non-contact, accurate, fast computer-controlled measurement of volume for baked products. Here's to a seedless lab floor!

To find out more and receive a brochure click here.


Are you new to Texture Analysis

Sports Nutrition has undergone an incredible decade of development and growth, exceeding double percentage digits.

Nutritional bars are the fastest-growing market, but there has been a widening of the sports and nutrition category.

Consumers in this category have changed from mostly hard-core athletes, to include more mainstream health-focused consumers who represent the major growth drivers for this global market. Developed regions such as the United States and some European countries have been the dominant market players, but the demand in developing countries is expected to increase with the current growing interest for health-related products.

Consumers of sports nutrition products now represent all ages and backgrounds who are increasingly seeking out products that can help them maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Besides focusing on their well-being; this group is also interested in specific diets, sustainability, natural ingredients and so on. Health, free-from, natural/organic and special diets are categories that are receiving much attention and there are opportunities to create exciting products with science-based ingredients that fit in these niches.

Quantifiable texture analysis of newly-emerging sports nutrition products is an evolving area of quality assurance that has yet to reach its full potential. Such a measure, employed across a range of food and drink products and packaging, can provide manufacturers with the peace of mind that their products consistently meet consumer expectations and are consistently functional, practical and appealing. From energy bar firmness to supplement capsule rupture and even the effectiveness of energy gel packaging, changeable raw materials and sensitivity to handling mean more risk of batch to batch variations. With the consumer in mind, these issues must be monitored and measured strictly, so that only the best quality products end up on supermarket shelves.

To read more, order your PDF copy of the article – simply click here...


Latest posts from Texture Analysis Professionals

The Texture Analysis Professionals blog keeps you up to date with current texture analysis developments across industry and academia.

Keep up with the latest news, and find out how Stable Micro Systems helps you take your new product from the earliest stages to the finished item.

Follow the blog regularly to keep abreast of the latest news in this fast-moving world.

In our latest series, we are looking at the testing of the properties of sauces – among recent topics are:

Measuring Sauce Texture: Stickiness, Tailing & Stringiness

Measuring Sauce Texture – Consistency and Cohesiveness

It’s all in the Sauce – Measuring Mouthfeel

See below for our Blog Categories Panel, which will help you find your way around over 200 posts.

Don't forget the Texture Analysis in Action series, in which we present the whole range of standard Texture Analyser attachments. It features descriptive text, photos, sample output graphs, and other information including illustrative videos and a list of relevant published papers where applicable.

You can find all these posts under the Texture Analyser Attachments label in the right sidebar of the blog window, or you can use our Alphabetical Attachments Index

Looking ahead, as and when new attachments become available, a detailed post will be added to the list.

Click here to read our latest posts or to sign up.

This Month's Featured Post

Texture is Trending

Back in 2014 Elizabeth Sloan at Sloan Trends Inc postulated that ‘Texture’ was the next megatrend in food and beverage product development.

An article in Food Product Design magazine stated that “Foods and beverages without texture are boring, especially to consumers who are becoming more adventuresome and expanding their horizons in the culinary world.

"Consumers are taking time to not only enjoy their meals, but to savour each and every bite that a particular product has to offer, focusing on the flavours and textures alike.

Texture can be described as the next market differentiator, in part, because foodies are expressing interest in the textural qualities of products. These people savour their foods and snacks and strive to experience all that a food has to offer.


Blog Categories Panel: click on any link below to see all available posts on the topics listed...

Texture Analysis in Action

Texture Analysis Properties











Texture Analysis Tips and Tricks

Exponent software is one of the reasons why our Texture Analysers are the best in the industry.

Exponent is a powerful tool that helps you analyse your testing data in ways that no other software product for texture analysers can.

It is packed with useful functionality that many users may miss.

Click here for a few tips – kindly compiled by our North American distributor Texture Technologies – that can help you make your experience with Exponent more useful and productive:

Due to its popularity of this item, Texture Technologies have also recently compiled another list of tricks and tips to help you up your productivity while working within Exponent.

We hope that you will find these posts useful.


User News invites you to take part

In 2016, we would love to hear from you if you have any texture analysis news that might be of interest to our many thousands of users.

Whether it is an unusual product or a new approach to a procedure you have been carrying out for many years, why not get in touch and let us know what you are testing!

Please email us with your ideas.

Product testing videos

Our application area specific videos on Stable Micro Systems’ YouTube Channel are accessible from

Use the Video Channel > Texture Channel link from the left menu panel of our website to find the YouTube TextureAnalysis’s Channel screen.

If you click on the Videos by Industry option on the right of the page, you'll be able to view a selection of our videos, giving you some insight into how Texture Analysis can have a positive impact on your testing regime, and how Stable Micro Systems in particular can help you maintain the highest standards in both research and development and quality control.

Whether your speciality is adhesives, baked products, cosmetics, fruit and vegetables, meat, packaging or powders, we are confident that we can help you achieve better products.


Have you lost your manual?

All of our product manuals are available in .pdf format, free upon request to our users.

Please ensure that your e-mail account quota is not exceeded by the manual(s) you have requested, as this is the most common delivery failure.

To request any of these documents, please select your requirements on the Product Manual Request page of

User News invites you to take partUser News invites you to take part

Stable Micro Systems' 2016 Advanced Training Course is now open for booking!

The dates for 2016 are as follows:

Tuesday 7th – Thursday 9th June 2016

This special course for experienced Texture Analyser users will take place at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Guildford, Surrey.

Click here for more details...

You can book your place today by emailing:

Our one day User Training Courses are designed for users wishing to obtain the maximum benefit from our texture analysis equipment and software.

The Training Course dates for 2016 are as follows:

• Wednesday 9th March 2016

• Wednesday 29th June 2016

• Wednesday 26th October 2016

Further course dates may be released according to demand and any such dates will appear in future newsletters – or check the Training page on our website.

Click here for more details...

Then – book your place today by emailing:


Exhibitions and conferences

Our representatives will be available at each of these events.
Please visit us on our stand to discuss your texture analysis problems
and requirements – we will be only too pleased to help you!

The Texture Experts from Stable Micro Systems will be attending the following events over the next few months:

• 2nd Food Structure and Functionality Forum Symposium external link
28 February – 2 March 2016
Singex, Singapore

• PBP World Meeting (Research Pharm) external link
4 – 7 April 2016
SECC, Glasgow

• InCosmetics external link
12 – 14 April 2016
Porte de Versailles, Paris, France

• 15th ICC Cereal and Bread Congress external link
17 – 21 April 2016
Istanbul, Turkey

Software versions/updates

The software packages below are available for download from our website – in the Software Download section:

Exponent/Exponent Lite6.1.9.1

VolScan Profiler software –

You may also download our free Texture Analysis Screensaver
from this page.

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Stable Micro Systems

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