Our industry loves talking about food (honestly, who doesn’t?). So, when talking professionally about your product, it’s nice to explain the texture and taste on a scale everyone understands. That’s why we have Texture Profile Analysis (TPA). It began as a trained sensory panel measuring and describing the textural properties of food. Today, specialized equipment can be used for a more objective and scalable option.
What does texture profile analysis tell you?
TPA helps describe the textural attributes of the food product, which are broken down into different primary categories:
- Hardness: the initial force used to deform
- Cohesiveness: how the item holds together
- Viscosity: flow rate
- Elasticity: the rate at which a deformed item reforms, or its springiness
- Adhesiveness: rate at which item comes away from probe (instrumental) or roof of mouth/teeth
The primary categories can be further broken down into secondary categories:
- Resilience: measurement of how a sample recovers from deformation in relation to speed and forces
- Brittleness (Fracturability): the initial force needed for a material to fracture
- Chewiness: energy required to chew a solid food until it is ready for swallowing
- Gumminess: energy required to disintegrate a semisolid food until it is ready to swallow
Each of these categories can been broken down even further to give a clearer picture of the food. Measurements are made by compressing an item to a set distance and analyzing the force it takes for the item to deform.