Volscan Profiler case studies
Creating popped snacks with desired density from Mondelez International
Intercontinental Great Brands are part of Mondelez International which is one of the world’s largest snacks companies. It has its origins as Kraft Foods Inc. and manufactures chocolate, cookies, biscuits, gum, confectionery, and powdered beverages for sale in over 160 countries in the world.
Popped products are usually made by filling a chamber with pellets that are subjected to heat and pressure. Upon releasing the pressure, the pellets rapidly expand. Due to heightened awareness of the health benefits of wholegrains by consumers, they are highly desirable in a snack product. However, popped snacks made with whole grains can often lack the organoleptic properties that consumers desire in a snack. Two important aspects of the consumer’s eating experience are the volume and density of the product.
They used a Volscan Profiler and applied a gold coating to the samples to increase surface reflection and improve the quality of the scan. They obtained volume and density measurements from a variety of formulations to see which version produced the best density whilst retaining desirable texture.
The popped snack including whole grain wheat flour had a significantly higher, more satisfying density than the comparative product, which contained only potato flour. With this successful outcome, they patented their process, ensuring protection of their development success.
How Arla developed a new aerated cheese product
Arla Foods dates back to the 1880s, when dairy farmers in Denmark and Sweden joined forces with one common goal: to produce and provide the best dairy products, creating new opportunities for business growth. Today they have farmer owners in 7 countries across Europe and are well-known for their high quality, sustainably farmed dairy products.
Snacks are popular products, however they are often considered unhealthy. As there is a growing consumer awareness of the nutritional quality of food, the provision of snacks which do not compromise on taste or texture, but which at the same time are healthier, is highly desired. In order to improve the nutritional profile of products, producers would like to avoid the addition of additives such as artificial stabilisers, reduce the fat content and reduce the sugar content of products. Such products are perceived as healthier alternatives by the consumer. Hence, Arla considered that an improved dairy snack food having a healthier nutritional profile would be advantageous, along with a more efficient and/or reliable process of preparing such foods.
They used the Volscan Profiler as a tool for their invention of an aerated cheese that solves the issues of avoiding inclusion of ingredients such as additives, high fat and/or sugar content.
Arla thought that the protein content in their new cheese would contribute to a matrix which enabled air to be bound into the product. Cheeses with higher protein content would yield products with greater specific volume, i.e. products with increased incorporation of air, as compared to cheeses with lower protein content. They also thought that higher fat content in the cheese would lead to a denser matrix, which hinders aeration of the product. Cheeses with higher fat content would yield products with lower specific volume, i.e. products with decreased incorporation of air, as compared to cheeses with lower fat content. The Volscan Profiler provided the tool to measure the specific volume of each created version with different protein and fat contents in order to discover the correct balance to achieve the desired density.
Their invention of a method to create an aerated cheese was optimised by their ability to measure the effects of each processing method variable in order to create a light well-aerated cheese product with a specific volume of at least 0.1 ml/g and have a suitable low fat and high protein content to present to the market.
USDA and Purdue University – striving to make measurement progress in the egg industry
Eggs are recognised worldwide as a valuable food source. The measurement of their quality parameters are essential and like all ubiquitous food products, improvements in the way these parameters are measured are constantly evolving as new technologies are presented. It’s not surprising therefore that several universities have identified the Volscan Profiler as a potential improvement to old measurement problems in this field. The Volscan Profiler not only allows volume measurement but also a full dimensional profile that would otherwise have been a manual determination.
Determining the size, shape, and density of the avian egg has always presented a problem. The measurements require an individual’s visual perception to determine the data points. The smooth surface and ovoid shape of the shell makes using micrometers to determine shape index difficult and placement of micrometers varies by each individual. Historically, determining the specific density of an egg has required the egg be placed in saline solutions of known concentrations to assess at which concentration the egg ‘floats’ - another measurement requiring visual perception.
Objective determination of egg shape, volume, and density can be found in one minute per egg using the Volscan Profiler. Researchers from Purdue University have been investigating the assessment of the shape of the avian egg taking measurements including egg length, maximum width, shape index and length at maximum width, producing a 3D image of the egg. Repeated measurement of the same egg produces less than 1% variability in measured outcomes.
It has been proven that egg shape and volume information from the Volscan Profiler can be utilised by poultry breeders, producers, and processors, as well as, housing and processing equipment and egg carton manufacturers.
How BASF made a lipase enzyme breakthrough
As the world’s leading chemical company, BASFs portfolio ranges from materials, industrial and agricultural solutions to surface technologies along with food and nutrition. They work on food solutions such as how we will feed ourselves in the future, how to combat hunger and how to craft new chemistry to create improved versions of modern accepted products, such as bread.
Several different enzymes can be used for making bread, for example lipases have been known to improve the stability and volume of the bread. However, the industry still needs a lipase that improves volume, stability, tolerance, reduces or eliminates the additive diacetyl tartaric acid esters of monoglycerides.
When you are trying to create an enzyme that has a desired dimensional effect on the end product, a measurement tool is required that allows the dimensional comparison between different variations of the enzyme in order to realise the variant that produces the optimum result. Their Volscan Profiler enabled them to measure volume and specific volume in order to determine this.
A patent has recently been released by BASF, entitled 'Lipase Enzymes'. This patent explored lipase enzymes that meet or exceed these industrial requirements.
Additional research using the Volscan Profiler
University College Birmingham
The University College Birmingham (UCB) is renowned for its outstanding food industry training facilities and trains specifically in the field of bakery and patisserie technology. If you’re looking for a great demonstration of how a Volscan Profiler works, this video by Graham Duckworth, lecturer at UCB Bakery and Patisserie Technology explains how to get testing your products. Watch it now
Northern Crops Institute
The Northern Crops Institute mission is to support regional agriculture and value added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern grown crops. They assist in product testing and development. Watch how Northern Crops Institute are using their Volscan Profiler for bread volume measurement
University College Cork
Researchers at the pilot bakery of University College Cork use their Volscan Profiler in their research for the evaluation of the quality of different baked products e.g. bread, puff pastry, cakes, biscuits, burger buns, pasta. See their research publications using the Volscan Profiler.